• Steve Potter

6/11/2020 - Phillies Minor League History - The Miami Marlins


Time Period - 1956 to 1958 & 1962 to 1965


Venue : Miami Stadium


City : Miami, FL


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Franchise History :


There were two stints of minor league baseball associated with the Phillies and the city of Miami, FL. In 1956 the AAA level Syracuse Chiefs franchise moved to Miami and became the Marlins. The Phillies used Syracuse as their AAA affiliate in 1954 and 1955 and moved their agreement to Miami as well.


The Phillies maintained their affiliation with the AAA version of the Marlins thru the 1958 season ... the Baltimore Orioles took over in 1959 and continued thru the 1960 season. The Marlins franchise was moved to San Juan Puerto, Rico and eventually to Charleston, WV for the 1961 season as an affiliate of the St Louis Cardinals. They moved again to Atlanta in 1962 ( team name changed to Crackers ) as a member of the AA Southern League. In 1966 when the big league Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta the minor league team moved as well and became the Richmond Braves and stayed there thru 2008. In 2009 the franchise moved to Gwinnett which is it’s present home as a Braves affiliate in the AAA International League.


The second Miami minor league stint for the Phillies came in 1962 when the Florida State League (FSL ) resurrected the Miami Hustlers franchise which was a team in the FSL from 1927 to 1928. The club was renamed the Marlins to honor the defunct AAA franchise.


The FSL was known as a D League in 1962 but became an Advanced A League when minor league baseball did it’s full scale reclassifications in 1963. The Phillies affiliated with the FSL version of the Miami Marlins thru the 1965 season. Baltimore picked up the affiliation from 1966 to 1981, they renamed the franchise as the Miami Orioles in 1971.


In 1982 Baltimore severed its franchise commitment to Miami and the team played as an unaffiliated member of the FSL renaming itself again as the Marlins. They received players on loan from the Orioles, Padres and Athletics.


The San Diego Padres affiliated with the FSL Miami Marlins for the 1983 and 1984 seasons. In 1985 the franchise once again became an independent member of the FSL and played as such thru the 1988 season. In 1989 the club was sold to a group that included comedian Bill Murray and singer Jimmy Buffett. The group changed the team’s name to the Miami Miracle.


In 1992 the franchise moved to Fort Myers,FL as a co-op partner of the Minnesota Twins, a year later they became an affiliate and continue to be so today. The franchise played as the Miracle thru the 2019 season ... they were rebranded as the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels for 2020.


The Marlins team name was resurrected once again in 1993 when the expansion Florida Marlins joined the National League ... they became the Miami Marlins in 2011.


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The Stadium the Phillies played in : Miami Stadium - later known as Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium ( renamed in the Cuban baseball entrepreneur’s honor in 1987 )


2301 NW 10th & NW 12th Avenues at Rte 836.

Capacity: 13,500 (1950), 9,548 (1992)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 330-400-330


The stadium was built in 1949 and was known for its cantilevered grandstand with no support beams. Since there were no beams needed for the roof the fans in attendance had unobstructed views of the field, it was considered a state of the art design at the time.


It served as the spring training home of the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers from 1950 to 1958 and then the spring home of the Baltimore Orioles from 1959 to 1990. It was the summer home of the Miami Sun Sox ( 1949 to 1954 ), the Miami Marlins AAA franchise from 1956 to 1960, the FSL clubs from 1962 to 1988 and the Gold Coast Suns of the Senior Professional Baseball League from 1989 to 1990. It fell into disarray thereafter ...


In 1999 the stadium was razed and an apartment complex known as the Miami Stadium Apartments were built on the 12.6 acre site.


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The Seasons :


1956


International League (AAA ) ... Manager : Don Osborne ... 80-71, 3rd place ... Attendance: 288,582.


49 year old RHP Satchel Paige ( elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 ) went 11-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 37 games ( 111 IP) ... he was 4th in the league in ERA


1957


International League (AAA ) ... Manager : Don Osborne ... 75-78, 4th place ... Attendance: 181,651.


Satchel Paige ( 50 yrs old ) went 10-8 with a 2.42 ERA in 40 games ( 119 IP)


23 year old 1B Pancho Herrera posted a .306 batting average in 566 AB’s with 17 home runs and 93 RBIs ... he would play in parts of three seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 1958 to 1961.


1958


International League (AAA ) ... Manager : Kerby Ferrell ... 75-78, 5th place ... Attendance: 161,042.


51 year old Satchel Paige went 10-10 with a 2.95 ERA in 28 games ( 110 IP ) ... he played three more seasons afterwards ( ‘61,’65 and ‘66 ) finishing with a total of 30 years as a pitcher ... incredible 😳


Pancho Herrera played in 121 games and hit .282 in 436 AB’s with 20 homers and 66 RBIs .


23 year old RHP Dallas Green appeared in 31 games and posted a 3.74 ERA in 159 IP.


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1962


Florida State League (D) ... Manager : Andy Seminick ... 67-57, 4th place ... Attendance: 90,887.


17 year old RHP Ferguson Jenkins ( elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 ) went 7-2 with a 0.97 ERA in 11 games ( 65 IP ) ... he would go on to play 19 big league seasons beginning in 1965 and would win 284 major league games pitching for the Phillies, Cubs, Rangers and Red Sox.


19 year old OF Alex Johnson made his pro debut and posted a .313 batting average in 431 AB’s ... Alex would go on to play in 13 big league seasons from 1964 to 1977 with the Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Angels, Rangers, Yankees and Tigers.


1963


Florida State League (Advanced A) ... Manager : Andy Seminick ... 58-65, 6th place ... Attendance: 75,349.


RHP Ferguson Jenkins went 12-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 20 games ( 140 IP)


22 year old 1B/3B/OF Hank Allen, ( Richie’s older brother ), hit .303 in 442 AB’s ... he would play in 7 big league seasons from 1965 to 1973 with the Senators, Brewers and White Sox.


1964


Florida State League (Advanced A) ... Manager : Bobby Morgan ... 64-75, 7th place ... Attendance: 103,687.


20 year old 1B Ron Allen, ( Richie’s younger brother ), played in 65 games ... he made it to the majors in 1972 with the Cardinals appearing in 7 games.


1965


Florida State League ( Advanced A ) ... Manager : Bobby Morgan ... 67-75, 7th place ... Attendance: 71,964.


20 year old RHP Gary Schieve posted a 1.73 ERA in a whopping 208 IP ( 27 starts ) ... he made it as high as AA ball in Reading from 1967 to 1969 but retired after the 1970 season.


18 year old 1B/OF Joe Lis played in 134 games and had 57 RBIs ... it was his first pro season ... Joe would go on to play in 8 big league seasons spanning from 1967 to 1977 with the Phillies, Twins, Indians and Mariners. He also played overseas in Japan with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1978


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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