The Jacksonville Tars were a minor league baseball team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. Two Jacksonville teams played under the Tars moniker between 1926 and 1952: a Class B team in the Southeastern League from 1926 to 1930, and a Class A team in the South Atlantic League (the Sally League) from 1936 to 1952. In 1953 the franchise was purchased by Sam W. Wolfson, who reorganized it as the Jacksonville Braves.
The origin of the team's unusual name is unclear, though sports writers have offered a number of explanations. Both incarnations played their home games at Durkee Field, then the city's primary municipal stadium.
Professional baseball in Jacksonville has been played nearly every year since the early 20th century. Early teams included the Jacksonville Jays (1904–1910), the Jacksonville Tarpons (1911–1916), the Jacksonville Roses (1917), the Jacksonville Scouts (1921), and the Jacksonville Indians (1922). The original incarnation of the Jacksonville Tars date to 1926. They played at Myrtle Avenue Ball Park, later known as Durkee Field.
One of the Tars' biggest moments came in a 1951 exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox. Local sportswriters had low expectations for the hapless Tars, assuming they would be trounced by the Major League team. However, in a surprising upset, new manager Ben Geraghty saw the team to a victory when Rance Pless hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of pitcher Bill Evans. The Tars went on to one of their best seasons, coming in second place in the South Atlantic League.
In 1953 Sam W. Wolfson bought the Tars franchise. He signed an affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Braves, reorganizing the team as the Jacksonville Braves. He kept manager Geraghty, but little else of the Tars organization survived through Wolfson's push at creating a more successful club.