The History of Miami Minor League Baseball - 1962 - 1991
Following an epic failure of the International League’s Triple-A Marlins (1956-60), baseball made its triumphant return in 1962, spearheaded by Bill Durney, attorney Ron Fine, and businessman Bill Meranda. Albeit at the lowest rung of the minor leagues, the second-generation Marlins joined the Class D Florida State League making an immediate splash and drawing fans back to Miami Stadium.
In 1963, the FSL acquired A level where Miami would remain until 1991, overseen by major league clubs counting the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and independent ownership.
Over 30 seasons, hardball experienced a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, not to mention a brief foray of Triple-A baseball in 1979 with the short-lived Miami Amigos of the Inter-American League. Baseball reached its zenith from 1969-72 when the Marlins/Orioles captured four consecutive league championships under the leadership of the iconic Woody Smith. Several years of hardship and poor fan support due to the deteriorating conditions of the stadium and surrounding neighborhood. Despite the trials and tribulations, several players donning the Miami uniform graduated to the big leagues including all-time greats; Ferguson Jenkins, Cal Ripken Jr., Don Baylor, Eddie Murray, and Dennis Martinez.
A vibrant ownership group purchased the team in 1989 renaming the club the Miracle eventually relocating the team to Pompano Beach. Through the aggressive campaigning of businessman Wayne Huizenga major league baseball arrived in south Florida in 1993, thus ending the storied history of minor league baseball in the area.
Author: Sam Zygner and Barbra Cabrera
Foreword by: Fredi Gonzalez
Page Count: 340
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: July 31, 2022
Imprint: Sunbury Press
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