Baseball in Florida

There are a significant number of professional baseball teams based in Florida but they play in a number of different baseball leagues.

Florida has two baseball teams who play in the highest league, namely the Major League (MLB). The MLB is subdivided into two leagues, the National League and the American League each of which is further sub-divided into East, West and Central:

  • Miami Marlins play in the Eastern Division of the National League at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami
  • Tampa Bay Rays play in the Eastern Division of the American League at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg

Around a dozen other Florida baseball teams play Minor League Baseball (MiLB). One plays in the Southern League which is sub-divided into North and South:

  • Jacksonville Suns play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in Jacksonville

The rest of the Minor League teams play in the Florida State League which is also sub-divided into North and South. The Northern Division consists of:

  • Brevard County Manatees play at Space Coast Stadium in Viera
  • Clearwater Threshers play at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater
  • Daytona Cubs play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach
  • Dunedin Blue Jays play at Knology Park in Dunedin
  • Lakeland Tigers play at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland
  • Sarasota Reds play at Ed Smith Stadium

The remaining teams play in the Southern Division:

  • Bradenton Marauders play at McKechnie Field in Bradenton
  • Charlotte Stone Crabs play at Charlotte Sports Park at Port Charlotte
  • Fort Myers Miracle play at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers
  • Jupiter Hammerheads play at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter
  • Palm Beach Cardinals play at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter
  • St. Lucie Mets play at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie
  • Tampa Yankees play at Legends Field in Tampa

Also part of the Minor League is the Rookie League and in Florida this is the Gulf Coast League (GCL). Each team is affiliated with a Major League team and takes its name from its parent. The league is split into East, North and South. The Eastern Division consists of:

  • GCL Astros play at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee
  • GCL Cardinals play at the Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter
  • GCL Marlins play at the Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter
  • GCL Mets play at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie
  • GCL Nationalsplay at Space Coast Stadium in Viera

The Northern Division consists of:

  • GCL Blue Jays play at the Bobby Mattick Training Center at the Englebert Complex in Dunedin
  • GCL Braves play at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista
  • GCL Phillies play at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater
  • GCL Pirates play at Pirate City Stadium in Bradenton
  • GCL Tigers play at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland
  • GCL Yankees play at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa

The Southern Division consists of:

  • GCL Orioles play at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota
  • GCL Rays play at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte
  • GCL Red Sox play at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers
  • GCL Twins play at Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers

The normal baseball season runs from early April to early October with teams typically playing six days a week. The Rookie league have a shorter season which doesn’t start until June. There are also play-offs which take place at the end of the normal season for the top ranking teams.

The main season is preceded by Spring Training which typically starts around the middle of February.

Many of Florida’s baseball parks play host to other Major League teams every Spring as part of the Grapefruit League Spring Training season. This is a great time to see some of the top North American baseball teams playing in Florida at lower than normal ticket prices.

The Florida State League and Gulf Coast League teams are all affiliated with a Major League Team and the affiliated Major League teams usually play at their affiliates Florida baseball park during Spring Training.

Other pages of interest