St. Petersburg Saints
|St. Petersburg Saints
St. Petersburg, Florida
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League (1955–2000)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||9 (1922, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1986, 1997)|
The St. Petersburg Saints were a minor league baseball team that operated out of St. Petersburg, Florida. The team began as a semi-pro team and as early as October 1908, the semi-pro Saints played the Cincinnati Reds in a post-season exhibition game. By 1914, the Saints were receiving regular coverage in the local press. They played in the Florida State League from 1920-1928 and then folded operations. A second team, also called the St.Petersburg Saints played in the Florida International League from 1947-1954 and the Florida State League from 1955-1965. The team won four championships and were owned by R. Vernon and Irene C. Eckert from 1951-1954.
They were affiliated with Cleveland in 1949, the New York Yankees from 1956-1961, and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1962-1965. The team name was changed to the St. Petersburg Cardinals upon their signing an affiliation deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966. They continued as the Cards through 1996, winning four more championships. The team was renamed once more in 1997 as the St. Petersburg Devil Rays (an affiliation deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) and remained operation until folding for good after the 2000 season when the Devil Rays affiliated with the Advanced Single-A Bakersfield Blaze for the 2001 season.
On June 23, 2007, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays wore 1955 St. Petersburg Saints uniforms in a turn back the clock game against the Dodgers. Rays coach Don Zimmer had played on the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers and the Rays honored the 1955 team and Zimmer.
- Arsenault, Raymond (1998). "Spring Training Baseball in Florida - Our Roots Run Deep". Florida's Grapefruit League. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "Saints Grab First Game of Series From East Brewster Team--4 to 3". The Evening Independent. 1914-08-21. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- "Rays celebrate Turn Back the Clock Night; Zimmer bobblehead, former Dodgers mates featured at Rays-Dodgers game". MLB.com. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2009-09-17.