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Orlando Rays Baseball - Orlando - DEFUNCT - BJ105 Radio Orlando, FL


Mar 18, 2021 Sports 0 Comments

Several different minor league baseball teams have called the city of Orlando, Florida home from 1919–2003. Most have played in the Florida State League.

The original Orlando franchise played between 1919 and 1924 and was alternately called the Caps, Tigers and Bulldogs. The Orlando Colts played between 1926 and 1928.

The Orlando Gulls began in 1937 but changed their name the following year to the Orlando Senators when they became an affiliate of the Washington Senators. The Senators remained through 1955 (though the team name and league was shut down from 1943–1945 during World War II and the name was changed to the Orlando C.B.s for 1954–1955). They won the FSL championship in 1940, 1946 and 1955

In 1956, they were an affiliate of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League and were known as the Orlando Seratomas. As an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers they were the Orlando Flyers in 1957, a name that remained in 1958 when they were affiliated with the International League team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate known as the Orlando Dodgers from 1959–1961 when this version of the team was discontinued.

The Minnesota Twins arrived in 1963 and set up a new affiliate called the Orlando Twins. The franchise joined the Southern League in 1973. The Twins played at Tinker Field in downtown Orlando, near the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. In 1990, the team was renamed the Orlando Sun Rays. In 1993, the Chicago Cubs became the team’s new major-league affiliate, and the team was renamed the Orlando Cubs. While still a Chicago Cubs affiliate, the team renamed itself once again in 1997 and became the Orlando Rays. The following year, for one season only, the Seattle Mariners were the Rays’ major-league affiliate. The Tampa Bay Rays (then the Devil Rays), an American League expansion team in 1998, assumed the Orlando Rays’ major-league affiliation the following year.

The Orlando Rays’ last season at Tinker Field was 1999. From 2000 to 2003, the Orlando Rays played in Kissimmee, Florida, in Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World Resort. Despite the fact that the team played in a state-of-the-art stadium that was built in 1997 and used during spring training by the Atlanta Braves, attendance did not meet expectations; after trailing the Southern League in attendance in multiple years, the Rays’ owners announced the team would move to Montgomery, Alabama in 2004 (terminating their 10-year lease with Disney after four seasons). Rays players who went on to the major-league level include Carl Crawford, Toby Hall, Jorge Cantú, Dewon Brazelton, Chad Gaudin, Matt Diaz, Jonny Gomes, and Seth McClung. The team is now known as the Montgomery Biscuits.

The Gulf Coast Braves also play in Orlando.

On June 17, 2016 as part of a charity appeal following the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Tampa Bay Rays wore Orlando Rays hats during their game against the San Francisco Giants.