Daytona Tortugas
DaytonaTortugas.png
DaytonaTortugascap.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassSingle-A (2022–present)
Previous classes
LeagueFlorida State League (2022–present)
DivisionEast Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamCincinnati Reds (2015–present)
Previous teamsChicago Cubs (1993–2014)
Minor league titles
League titles (6)
  • 1995
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2011
  • 2013
Division titles (9)
  • 1995
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2018
Team data
Previous names
Daytona Cubs (1993–2014)
BallparkJackie Robinson Ballpark (1993–present)
Previous parks
Melching Field at Conrad Park (2004)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Tortugas Baseball Club, LLC
General managerJim Jaworski[1]
ManagerDick Schofield

The Daytona Tortugas are a Minor League Baseball team of the Florida State League and the Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. They are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, and play their home games at Jackie Robinson Ballpark; opened in 1914, the park seats 5,100 people.

The club was previously known as the Daytona Cubs from 1993 to 2014 when they were an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The team has won six Florida State League championships: in 1995, 2000, 2004 (co-champions with the Tampa Yankees), 2008, 2011, and 2013.

History

Daytona Beach Admirals

The last Florida State League (FSL) baseball team to play in Daytona Beach, was known as the Daytona Beach Admirals, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. In September 1987, the White Sox decided to move their Class A affiliate to Sarasota. This left Daytona without a major league player development contract, resulting in the Admirals' owner selling the team to the New York Mets. The Mets moved the team to Port St. Lucie to become the St. Lucie Mets. Daytona did not have professional baseball for five years after the move.[2]

Chicago Cubs

Prior to 1993, the Chicago Cubs were affiliated with the Winston Salem Warthogs, a Class A team that played in the Carolina League. At the end of the 1992 season, the Cubs decided to move their Class A affiliate to Florida. The Florida State League originally assigned the transplanted Cubs team to play at Baseball City Stadium in Davenport. However, Jordan Kobritz, the new owner and general manager of the minor league franchise, wanted the team to play in Daytona Beach instead.[3] Negotiations to bring the Cubs to Daytona Beach went on for a couple of months and were completed just in time to start the new season.[4][5][6]

The Daytona Cubs opened their first season on the road, sweeping the Vero Beach Dodgers, two games to zero.[7][8] The home opener was scheduled for April 12.[9] Jackie Robinson Ballpark was sold out on opening night.[8] Chelsea Clinton, President Clinton's daughter, was invited to Daytona to throw the opening pitch.[10] The young Ms. Clinton could not attend due to a family medical emergency, and Daytona Beach Mayor Larry Kelly and FSL President Chuck Murphy threw the ceremonial opening pitches instead.[8] The Cubs' public address announcer led fans in singing "Go, Cubs, Go", although with slightly altered lyrics (substituting "Daytona" for "Chicago"). The Daytona Cubs won their home opener 5–2 against the Sarasota White Sox, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox who left Daytona Beach five years earlier.[8]

Cincinnati Reds

After the 2014 season, the Cubs ended their affiliation with Daytona, and signed a new contract with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League.[11][12] Daytona reached an agreement with the Cincinnati Reds following the 2014 season, and announced the team would be rebranded with a new name with a "local angle" in 2015.[13] They chose the name "Tortugas".[14]

On June 3, 2015, Big Game Florida, LLC, headed by Andy Rayburn, sold the team to Tortugas Baseball Club, LLC, headed by Reese Smith III with partners Bob Fregolle and Rick French. Smith plans to keep the team in Daytona.[15]

Season-by-season results

Division and League Champions
Division Champions
Post-season Berth
*
Year Record[a] Win % League[b] Division[c] GB[d] Post-season
record[e]
Post-season
win %
Result
1993 57–76 .429 10th 5th 22½
1994 61–73 .455 11th 4th 14½
1995
87–48 .644 1st 1st 3–2 .600 Clinched Eastern Division title
Won FSL Championship vs Fort Myers Miracle, 3–2[16]
1996 71–66 .518 6th 2nd 2
1997 65–73 .471 10th 4th
1998 67–73 .479 9th 3rd 13
1999 63–75 .457 11th 4th 10
2000
76–63 .547 5th 2nd 5 5–0 1.000 Won Eastern Division title vs St. Lucie Mets, 2–0[16]
Won FSL Championship vs Dunedin Blue Jays, 3–0[16]
2001 68–68 .500 6th 4th 12½
2002 64–73 .467 8th 5th 16½
2003 66–71 .482 9th 4th 10
2004
70–56 .556 4th 2nd 3 2–0 1.000 Won Eastern Division title vs Vero Beach Devil Rays, 2–0[16]
Declared Co-FSL Champions with Tampa Yankees[16]
2005 69–65 .515 5th 2nd
2006 71–66 .518 5th 3rd 5
2007 57–80 .416 11th 6th 17½
2008
73–59 .553 3rd 1st 5–2 .714 Won Eastern Division title vs Palm Beach Cardinals, 2–1[16]
Won FSL Championship vs Fort Myers Miracle, 3–1[16]
2009 64–71 .474 9th 5th 19
2010 75–64 .540 4th 2nd 5
2011
76–61 .555 1st 5–1 .833 Won North Division title vs Dunedin Blue Jays, 2–1[17]
Won FSL Championship vs St. Lucie Mets, 3–0[17]
2012 59–74 .444 9th 6th 19
2013
75–51 .595 1st 1st 5–1 .833 Won North Division title vs Dunedin Blue Jays, 2–0[18]
Won FSL Championship vs Charlotte Stone Crabs, 3–1[18]
2014
67–69 .493 2nd 1st 3–3 .500 Won North Division title vs Dunedin Blue Jays, 2–0[19]
Lost FSL Championship vs Fort Myers Miracle, 3–1[19]
2015
77–58 .570 2nd 1st 3–3 .500 Won North Division title vs Clearwater Threshers, 2–0[20]
Lost FSL Championship vs Charlotte Stone Crabs, 3–1[20]
2016 76–61 .555 3rd 3rd 6.5 -- -- --
2017 53–80 .398 11th 5th 31.0 -- -- --
2018
69–66 .511 6th 3rd 7.0 3–4 .428 Won North Division title vs Clearwater Threshers, 2–1[21]
Lost FSL Championship vs Fort Myers Miracle, 3–1[21]
Totals 1,776 – 1,740 .505 34–16 .680 9 Division titles, 6 FSL Championships

Ballparks

Jackie Robinson Ballpark

Main article: Jackie Robinson Ballpark

Jackie Robinson Ballpark

The Daytona Tortugas' current, and only, ballpark is Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The venue has experienced several expansions and renovations since its completion in 1914, and currently seats 5,100 spectators.

Melching Field at Conrad Park

Main article: Melching Field at Conrad Park

In 1999, Daytona Cubs' owner and General Manager Jordan Kobritz decided to move a home game to Melching Field at Conrad Park, located in nearby DeLand. This ballpark is the home of the Stetson University Hatters baseball team. Kobritz's goal was to generate some fan interest in the Cubs, in the western part of Volusia County. The game (vs. the St. Petersburg Devil Rays) was played on June 26, 1999.[22] In August 2004, the D-Cubs had to move several games to Melching Field, due to damage to Jackie Robinson Ballpark, caused by Hurricane Charley.[23][24] The Cubs paid another visit to Melching Field on June 20, 2007, when they played a double-header against the Palm Beach Cardinals. The game was moved this time to benefit a local charity in DeLand, as well as provide another opportunity to showcase the Daytona Cubs to fans in DeLand.[25]

Uniforms

Current

A picture of the different Daytona Tortugas uniforms: Home, Road & Alternate
A picture of the different Daytona Tortugas uniforms: Home, Road & Alternate

The team's color scheme consists of blue and green. Jerseys and pants for home games are made of white fabric with green trim, while those for road games are made of gray fabric with blue trim. On home jerseys, the word "Tortugas" is scripted across the chest in green. On road jerseys, the word "Daytona" is written across the chest in blue script. The player's number is written on the back in large green characters surrounded by blue.

The team's batting practice uniforms, which double as alternate uniforms, are made of green fabric. "Tortugas" is written across the chest in white script, trimmed in blue. There is a Daytona Tortugas logo on the right shoulder. Numbers, in white surrounded by blue, are sewn on the back in block characters.

The official home and road caps were green with Daytona Tortugas logo centered on the front. The batting practice/alternate caps are blue in color, with a white front and blue brim. The alternate Shelldon head logo is in the center of the cap. A green belt is typically worn.

Past

From 1993 to 2014 as the Cubs, the team's color scheme consisted of red, white, and blue, the same colors used by the Chicago Cubs. The uniforms of the Daytona Cubs were descendants of the Chicago Cubs' uniforms. Jerseys and pants for home games were made of white fabric with blue pinstripes, while those for road games were made of gray fabric with blue pinstripes. On home jerseys, the Chicago Cubs logo was located on the left chest, and a Daytona Cubs logo was located on the left sleeve. On road jerseys, the word "Daytona" was written across the chest in red script, and a Daytona Cubs logo was present on the left shoulder. The player's number was written on the back in large blue characters surrounded by red. Blue T-shirts of varying sleeve lengths were worn underneath the jerseys. The team's batting practice uniforms, which doubled as alternate uniforms, were made of light blue fabric with white pinstripes. "Daytona" was written across the chest in red script. There was a Daytona Cubs logo on the left shoulder. Numbers, in blue surrounded by red, were sewn on the back in block characters. The official home and road caps were blue with either the Chicago Cubs or Daytona Cubs logo centered on the front. A blue belt was worn on all the different uniforms along with blue ankle-length socks.

Mascot

Shelldon, the mascot of MiLB's Daytona Tortugas, on the shores of Daytona Beach
Shelldon, the mascot of MiLB's Daytona Tortugas, on the shores of Daytona Beach
Shelldon, the Daytona Tortugas mascot, with his signature headstand
Shelldon, the Daytona Tortugas mascot, with his signature headstand

The team's mascot is an anthropomorphic turtle ("Tortuga") named Shelldon. Since his first season in 2015, "Daytona's favorite party animal" acts as the team's Goodwill Ambassador, visiting local schools and charity events when he is not performing at home games.[26] He is also sometimes referred to as "The World's Most Famous Mascot" by Tortugas On-Field Host/Master of Ceremonies: The Young Professor. This is a nod toward Daytona's moniker "The World's Most Famous Beach."

Shelldon is a green and white sea turtle with a blue shell on his back, dark green spots, and an occasional backwards cap. He sports his white Tortuga jersey almost daily but changes into elaborate costumes for on-field skits and performances. Daytona Tortuga fans have learned to not get attached to any particular players, since the reward for superior play is to be taken away from Daytona and sent up to a higher farm team. Shelldon has been an adequate substitute to represent the team to the public and can constantly be seen tumbling, breakdancing, and generating fun around Daytona.

Shelldon was also named the #1 Florida State League Mascot by The Athletic. [27]

He is also joined by Shelly, a female turtle who supports the Tortugas' involvement in the community and is Shelldon's girlfriend. She debuted as the second team mascot in 2018.[28]

Past

Prior to becoming the Tortugas, the Daytona Cubs originally used a version of the Chicago Cubs emblem. In 1994, the Cubs hired Benedict Advertising, a local marketing firm, to develop a new logo. Benedict's design department created a bear cub wearing sunglasses and a backwards baseball cap.[29]

As a mascot, Cubby first appeared on the field on May 27, 1994. He had brown fur and wore the same style of uniform as the team, but wearing his hat backwards.[30]

On-Field Host

As of the 2021 season, the team's On-field host/Master of Ceremonies is The Young Professor, Matt Graifer. Previously, The Professor served in that role for the National Arena League professional football team the Jacksonville Sharks[31] for the 2018 and 2019 seasons and is also well known for his work as a local live trivia host and professional sports announcer in mixed martial arts, boxing, and professional wrestling. In 2021 he wore a different outfit to every single home game he attended. During the July 4th, 2021 game, he donned 17 different patriotic outfits and participated in 17 on-field promotions for every half inning of the game.


Prior to 2021, the On-Field Host role was played by Jim Jaworski, team General Manager.

Media

Radio

Since 2011, the Daytona Tortugas have enjoyed a radio partnership with "The Great Voice of Volusia County", AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB, to broadcast all the home and away games on the stations.[32] Justin Rocke, the Tortugas Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations, provides the play-by-play coverage.[33]

Print

Local newspaper coverage of the team is provided by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Memorable events and records

Four home runs in a game

Hitting for the cycle

Four Daytona players have hit for the cycle to date:

No-hitters

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 21 Kevin Abel
  • 23 Juan Manuel Abril
  • 49 Jose Acuna
  •  5 Julian Aguiar
  • -- Connor Bennett ‡
  • 32 Trey Braithwaite
  • 33 Ryan Cardona
  •  6 Tanner Cooper
  •  1 Jean Correa
  • 37 Jose Franco
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 10 Bryce Hubbart
  • 45 Brett Lockwood
  • 99 Zach Maxwell
  • 14 Yomil Maysonet
  • 20 Joseph Menefee
  • 29 Luis Mey ~
  • 35 Andrew Moore
  • 28 Hunter Parks
  • 12 Carson Rudd

Catchers

  • 41 Wilfred Astudillo
  • 24 Hayden Jones
  • 18 Logan Tanner

Infielders

  • 15 Edwin Arroyo
  •  3 Johnny Ascanio
  •  8 Austin Callahan
  • 17 Trey Faltine
  • 16 Braylin Minier
  • 25 Yassel Pino
  •  2 Hector Rodriguez
  • -- Debby Santana
  •  4 Gus Steiger

Outfielders

  • 27 Justin Boyd
  •  4 Blake Dunn
  • 31 Wendell Marrero
  • 13 Jamal O'Guinn
  •  7 Jack Rogers
  • 79 Brandt Stallings ‡


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

  • -- Gabriel Aguilera
  • -- Ranser Amador
  • -- Oswaldo Castillo
  • -- Cam Cowan
  • -- Reynardo Cruz
  • -- Blake Dunn
  • -- Shawn Guilliams
  • -- Jacob Heatherly
  • -- Alexander Johnson
  • -- Tyler Keysor
  • -- Miguel Lar
  • -- Jackson Miller
  • -- Leo Nierenberg

Injury icon 2.svg
7-day injured list
* On Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated August 23, 2022
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Florida State League
Cincinnati Reds minor league players

Notable alumni

Florida State League

Some Daytona players have distinguished themselves in the Florida State League

Major League players

Wall plaque inside Jackie Robinson Ballpark recognizing Daytona players who eventually rose to play in the major leagues
Wall plaque inside Jackie Robinson Ballpark recognizing Daytona players who eventually rose to play in the major leagues
Kris Bryant
Sam Fuld
Geovany Soto

Many Daytona players have advanced to play in the major leagues.

Managers

Dave Trembley, Daytona manager from 1995 to 1996 and 2001 to 2002
Dave Trembley, Daytona manager from 1995 to 1996 and 2001 to 2002

Thirteen men have managed Daytona baseball teams since the franchise's inception in 1993. Six managers have guided the team to win the FSL Championship: Dave Trembley (1995), Richie Zisk (2000), Steve McFarland (2004), Jody Davis (2008), Buddy Bailey (2011), and Dave Keller (2013).[16] Trembley won 290 games from 1995 to 1996 and 2001 to 2002, placing him first on the all-time wins list for Daytona managers. Having managed the team for 545 games, he is also the longest-tenured manager in team history. The manager with the highest winning percentage over a full season or more is Steve McFarland (.556). Conversely, the lowest winning percentage over a season or more is .429 by the team's first manager, Bill Hays. Buddy Bailey managed his first Daytona game in 2006, was replaced as manager following the season but returned to Daytona in 2009. Eli Marrero managed the Tortugas from 2015 to 2017. Former shortstop Ricky Gutierrez, who won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and was the Tortugas bench coach in 2017, was named the team's full-time manager for the 2018 season.

# Manager Years Games Wins Losses Win % Post-season
Appearances
Post-season
Wins
Post-season
Losses
Post-season
Win %
Ref
1 Bill Hays 1993 133 57 76 .429 [47]
2 Ken Bolek 1994 134 61 73 .455 [48]
3 Dave Trembley 1995–1996 272 158 114 .581 1 3 2 .600 [49]
4 Steve Roadcap 1997–1998 278 132 146 .475 [50]
5 Nate Oliver 1999 138 63 75 .457 [51]
6 Richie Zisk 2000 139 76 63 .547 1 5 0 1.000 [52]
Dave Trembley 2001–2002 273 132 141 .484 [49]
7 Rick Kranitz 2003 137 66 71 .482 [53]
8 Steve McFarland 2004 126 70 56 .556 1 2 0 1.000 [54]
Richie Zisk 2005 134 69 65 .515 [52]
9 Don Buford 2006 70 35 35 .500 [55][56][57]
Buddy Bailey 2009–2011 274 215 196 .523 1 5 1 .833 [58]
10 Brian Harper 2012 133 59 74 .444 - - - - [59]
11 Dave Keller 2013–2014 274 149 125 .544 2 8 4 .667 [60]
12 Eli Marrero 2015–2017 278 156 122 .561 1 3 3 .500 [61]
13 Ricky Gutierrez 2018–present - - - - - - - - [62]
Totals 3,248 1,654 1,594 .509 8 31 12 .721

Photos

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Personnel News: Daytona, Hagerstown". Ballpark Digest. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Admirals are Leaving; Deal Struck With Mets". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. September 3, 1987.
  3. ^ "Report: Daytona Closer to getting baseball team". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. February 2, 1993.
  4. ^ "Baseball City may get Cubs". Lakeland Ledger. February 6, 1993.
  5. ^ "DB & Cubs still under negotiation". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. February 9, 1993.
  6. ^ "Class A Cubs will leave Baseball City for Daytona". Lakeland Ledger. February 23, 1993.
  7. ^ "Dickson, Cubs make FSL debuts". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. April 8, 1993.
  8. ^ a b c d "Opening night a big hit with area baseball fans". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. April 13, 1993.
  9. ^ "Pro Baseball Returns to Daytona Beach". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. April 10, 1993.
  10. ^ "Kobritz invites Chelsea to pitch". Bangor Daily News. March 10, 1993.
  11. ^ Chicago Cubs aren't returning to Daytona Beach next season – Orlando Sentinel
  12. ^ It's official; Cubs say goodbye to Daytona for Myrtle Beach – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL
  13. ^ It’s official: Cincinnati Reds are Daytona’s new MLB affiliate – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL
  14. ^ Turtle power: D-Cubs become Tortugas | MiLB.com
  15. ^ Reichard, Kevin (June 4, 2015). "Reese Smith III Buys Daytona Tortugas". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
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  27. ^ "From Sod Poodles to Nuts, we picked the best mascot in MiLB". The Athletic. June 24, 2020.
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  34. ^ "Harvey hits FSL-record four homers". Special to MLB.com. July 29, 2006.
  35. ^ Ingram, Derek (July 29, 2006). "Harvey Hits Four HR's, Breaks Record". scout.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  36. ^ a b "Pie Hits for Cycle, July 4 Show". Our Sports Central. August 13, 2004.
  37. ^ "Jackson Hits for Cycle in Cubs Win". Our Sports Central. June 14, 2010.
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  40. ^ "Reds MiLB Notebook: A No-Hitter and an incredible catch". Retrieved April 14, 2022.
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  61. ^ [1] MLB. Retrieved on December 1 10, 2014.
  62. ^ [2]"Former shortstop Ricky Gutierrez named next Tortugas manager" Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved on January 16, 2018.