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Florida International League

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The Florida International League operated from 1946 through 1954 with teams in the big cities in Florida (Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg) plus a team in Havana, Cuba. The league was rated as class C for its first three years then upgraded to class B. Due to the low altitudes, the league was usually dominated by pitchers. In 1952 Gil Torres and Billy Harris each had ERAs under 1. In 1946 when the Cuban Team became a member of the Florida League it made them the first Cuban Team to play in the United States Minor Leagues. The Cuban team showed their talent by winning the League Championship, five straight years, 1946 through 1950. The team also won the play-off title four out of those five years. The Cuban Teams entry in the league made it a true International League. The league was not international in 1954 when Havana left to join the International League. The Florida International League was a stable league as only ten different cities were members during the eight year run.


Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] Team Statistics & Class

[edit] Class C 1946-47-48

1946 Class C
President: Wayne Allen

Team Name W L PCT GB Managers
Havana Cubans # 76 41 .650 0 Oscar Rodriguez
Tampa Smokers 76 55 .580 7 Vin Grannell / Frank Pare
Miami Beach Flamingos 64 64 .500 17.5 Max Rosenfeld
West Palm Beach Indians 58 64 .475 20.5 Herb Thomas
Lakeland Pilots 53 74 .417 28 Ray Hunt / Bill Purrin
Miami Sun Sox 53 82 .393 32 Paul Waner
#Havana lost 17 wins due to using an excessive number of class men.

Playoffs: Tampa 3 games, Miami Beach 0; West Palm 3 games, Havana 2.
Finals: Tampa 4 games, West Palm 2.

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ralph Brown Tampa BA .381 Chet Covington Tampa W 28
Ralph Brown Tampa Runs 110 Chet Covington Tampa SO 260
Ralph Brown Tampa Hits 195 Chet Covington Tampa ERA 1.66
Benny Fernandez Tampa RBI 79 Roy Valdes Havana/West Palm HR 7


1947 Class C
President: Wayne Allen

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Havana Cubans 105 45 .700 0 264,813 Oscar Rodriguez
Tampa Smokers 104 48 .684 2 130,242 Tony Cuccinello
Miami Beach Flamingos 88 65 .575 18.5 89,000 Al Leitz
Miami Tourists 74 77 .490 31.5 132,429 Dave Coble /Charles Baron(ovic)
St. Petersburg Saints 71 80 .470 34.5 114,197 Jimmie Foxx / Lou Finney
West Palm Beach Indians 68 86 .442 39 60,473 Harry Hughes
Lakeland Pilots 50 101 .331 55.5 41,926 Bill Perrin
Fort Lauderdale Braves 48 106 .312 59 54,403 Jimmy Zinn / Walter Kopp
Playoffs: Havana 3 games, Miami 2; Tampa 3 games, Miami Beach 0;
Finals: Havana 4 games, Tampa 0;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Lamar Murphy Tampa BA .354 Connie Marrero Havana W 25
Bitsy Mott Tampa Runs 124 Connie Marrero Havana SO 251
Manuel Hidalgo Havana Hits 200 Connie Marrero Havana ERA 1.66
Ned Harris West Palm RBI 120 Ned Harris West Palm HR 34


1948 Class C
President: Wayne Allen

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Havana Cubans 97 57 .630 0 205,967 Oscar Rodriguez
Tampa Smokers 84 67 .556 11.5 101,257 Joe Abreu / Benny Fernandez / Jack Russell
Lakeland Pilots 82 72 .532 15 57,752 Bill Perrin / Chuck Aleno
St. Petersburg Saints 78 73 .517 17.5 137,947 Lou Finney
Miami Tourists 75 78 .490 21.5 107,268 Howard Ermisch / Bill Perrin
West Palm Beach Indians 70 83 .458 26.5 73,443 Rudy Laskowski / Mike Schemer
Miami Beach Flamingos 69 82 .457 26.5 78,742 Harry Chozen / Sindo Valle
Fort Lauderdale Braves 55 98 .359 41.5 58,588 Kopp / Madjeski / Miller
Playoffs: Havana 3 games, Lakeland 0; Tampa 3 games, St Petersburg 2;
Finals: Havana 4 games, Tampa 3;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Lou Vezilich Tampa BA .356 Antonio Lorenzo Havana W 23
Tommy Bridges Miami Runs 119 Antonio Lorenzo Havana SO 275
Bryan Howell Lakeland Hits 190 Connie Marrero Havana ERA 1.67
Fred Bell St. Petersburg RBI 111 Bernardo Fernandez West Palm HR 28

[edit] Class B 1949-50-51-52-53-54

1949 Class B
President: Phil O'Connell

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Havana Cubans 95 57 .625 0 226,293 Oscar Rodriguez
Miami Sun Sox 87 62 .584 6.5 170,466 Pepper Martin / William Cates
Miami Beach Flamingos 81 70 .536 13.5 90,682 Joe Medwick
Tampa Smokers 81 72 .529 14.5 105,549 Travis Jackson / Wes Ferrell
West Palm Beach Indians 74 78 .487 21 81,132 Lou Finney
Fort Lauderdale Braves 65 88 .425 30.5 66,544 Chuck Aleno
St. Petersburg Saints 62 86 .419 31 108,397 Hoag / Sullivan / Beazley / Sullivan / Porter
Lakeland Pilots 60 92 .395 35 50,108 Johnny Rizzo
Playoffs: Havana 3 games, Miami Beach 2; Tampa 3 games, Miami 1;
Finals: Tampa 4 games, Havana 0;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Bill Conroy Miami Beach BA .359 Connie Marrero Havana W 25
Carlos DeSouza Tampa Runs 116 Connie Marrero Havana SO 167
Ted Cieslak Ft. Lauderdale Hits 196 Chet Covington Tampa ERA 1.46
Art Rebel Tampa RBI 115 Chuck Aleno Ft. Lauderdale HR 31


1950 Class B
President: Phil O'Connell

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Havana Cubans 101 49 .673 0 168,419 Oscar Rodriguez
Miami Sun Sox 98 55 .641 4.5 160,450 Pepper Martin
Tampa Smokers 85 60 .586 13.5 80,626 Art Rebel
Miami Beach Flamingos 77 72 .517 23.5 47,278 Jerry Crosby / Jimmy Outlaw
Fort Lauderdale Braves 70 80 .467 31 60,919 Chuck Aleno
West Palm Beach Indians 67 85 .441 35 57,078 Charlie Small / Rudy Laskowski
Lakeland Pilots 57 93 .380 44 42,588 Charlie Cuellar / William Ankoviak
St. Petersburg Saints 43 104 .293 56.5 77,115 Porter / Cadore / Pruett
Playoffs: Havana 3 games, Tampa 0; Miami 3 games, Miami Beach 0;
Finals: Miami 4 games, Havana 1;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Chuck Aleno Ft. Lauderdale BA .314 Labe Dean Miami W 24
Manuel Hidalgo Havana Runs 106 Antonio Lorenzo Havana SO 177
Manuel Hidalgo Havana Hits 188 Julio Moreno Havana ERA 1.47
Jack Tanner Lake/Ft.La RBI 101 Jack Tanner Lake/Ft. La HR 27


1951 Class B
President: Phil O'Connell

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Tampa Smokers 90 50 .643 0 92,449 Ben Chapman
St. Petersburg Saints 83 56 .597 6.5 139,464 Art Rebel
Miami Sun Sox 77 61 .568 12 128,107 Pepper Martin
Lakeland Patriots 71 68 .511 18.5 81,878 Roy Hughes
Havana Cubans 68 71 .489 21.5 83,051 Dolf Luque
Miami Beach Flamingos 66 74 .471 24 42,194 Buzz Dozier
West Palm Beach Indians 64 75 .460 25.5 64,425 Rudy Laskowski / Mel Held
Fort Lauderdale Braves 38 102 .271 52 32,739 Brown / Goosetree / Aleno
Playoffs: St. Petersburg 3 games, Lakeland 2; Miami 3 games, Tampa 1;
Finals: St. Petersburg 4 games, Miami 0;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ted Cieslak Lakeland BA .332 Woody Rich St. Petersburg W 25
Carlos Bernier Tampa Runs 124 Hooks Iott ST. Petersburg SO 273
Frank Smith West Palm Hits 162 Hooks Iott St. Petersburg ERA 2.00
Earle Brucker Miami RBI 90 Jack Tanner Ft. Lauderdale HR 19


1952 Class B
President: Henry S. Baynard

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Miami Sun Sox 104 48 .684 0 121,203 Max Macon
Miami Beach Flamingos 103 49 .678 1 57,533 Pepper Martin
Tampa Smokers 85 68 .556 19.5 75,608 Joe Medwick /Oscar Rodriquez
St. Petersburg Saints 84 70 .545 21 91,390 Dozier / Held / Herring
Havana Cubans 76 77 .497 28.5 81,463 Fermin Guerra
West Palm Beach Indians 68 85 .444 36.5 60,725 Billy Holm / Bill Harris
Lakeland Pilots 51 103 .331 54 43,909 Rip Sewell / Bud Bates
Fort Lauderdale # / Key West 40 111 .265 63.5 44,482 Joe Lutz
#Ft Lauderdale was taken over by the league June 1, then moved to Key West June 20.
Playoffs: Miami 3 games, Tampa 2; Miami Beach 3 games, St. Petersburg 2;
Finals: Miami 4 games, Miami Beach 3;
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jesse Levan Miami Beach BA .334 Billy Harris Miami W 25
Vince Gonzales Tampa Runs 93 Hooks Iott ST. Petersburg SO 210
Jesse Levan Miami Beach Hits 192 Billy Harris Miami ERA 0.83
Jesse Levan Miami Beach RBI 87 Bill Wilson ST. Petersburg HR 15



1953 Class B
President: Phil O'Connell

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Fort Lauderdale Lions 92 46 .667 0 61,330 Pepper Martin
Miami Sun Sox 76 58 .567 14 67,572 Doc Alexson
St. Petersburg Saints 72 62 .537 18 33,385 Bill Herring /William Seal
Havana Cubans 63 69 .477 26 23,460 Armando Marsans
West Palm Beach Indians 57 80 .416 34.5 52,077 Whitey Platt / Bill Harris
Tampa Smokers 46 91 .336 45.5 39,234 Ben Chapman /Art Rebel
Playoffs: Ft. Laudedale 3 games, Havana 1; St. Petersburg 3 games, Miami 0;
Finals: Ft. Lauderdale 4 games, St. Petersburg 2.
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jim Williams Ft. Lauderdale BA .336 Billy Harris West Palm W 18
Johnny Davis Ft. Lauderdale Runs 117 Hal Brown Ft. Lauderdale SO 151
Jesse Levan Ft. Lauderdale Hits 175 Hooks Iott St. Petersburg ERA 1.99
Johnny Davis Ft. Lauderdale RBI 136 Johnny Davis Ft. Lauderdale HR 35


1954 Class B
President: Dale Miller

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
St. Petersburg Saints 64 37 .634 0 30,759 Rudy Laskowski
Miami Beach/Miami# 63 39 .618 1.5 14,407 Pepper Martin
West Palm Beach 47 51 .480 15.5 23,247 Gil Torres
Tallahassee Rebels 22 76 .224 40.5 12,151 George/Meriwether/Doolittle/Harvey/Cuellar
Miami Sun Sox ## 13 12 .520 NA 1,773 Doc Alexson
Tampa Smokers ## 17 11 .607 NA 6,134 Art Rebel
##Tampa & Miami disbanded May 5.
#Miami Beach moved to Miami May 22.
The League disbanded July 27.
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jesse Levan Miami/Miami BA .348 Stan Milankovich St. Petersburg W 18
Bill Wilson St. Petersburg Runs 96 Bobby Hines Miami/Miami SO 95
Jesse Levan Miami/Miami Hits 130 Bill Tosheff St. Pete/Tampa ERA 2.61
Bill Wilson St. Petersburg RBI 109 Jesse Levan Miami/Miami HR 23

[edit] League Records 1946-1954

Batting
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Bitsy Mott Tampa Runs 124 47 Norm Brown Tampa BA .381 46
Byron Bridges Miami AB 643 48 Manuel Hidalgo Havana Hits 200 47
Johnny Davis Ft. Lauderdale RBI 136 53 Gil Torres Havana 2B 44 48
Carlos Bernier Tampa 3B 21 51 Johnny Davis Ft. Lauderdale HR 35 53
Peter Kantor Lakeland STR 26 48 George Spears Tampa SAC 27 49
Carlos DeSouze Tampa SB 58 49 Gene Hassell St. Petersburg BB 143 53
Willard Davis Miami SO 120 53


Pitching
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Antonio Garcia Lakeland GA 57 47 Chet Covington Tampa W 28 46
Charley Miller Ft. Laud L 23 48 Charles Morant Miami Bea PCT .938 15-1 52
Bill Harris Miami ERA 0.83 52 Gil Torres Miami ERA 0.86 52
William Stanton Miami IP 339 48 Vincent Lopez Miami WS 17 50
Bill Harris Miami ShO 12 52 Gil Torres Miami Sho 12 52
Antonio Lorenzo Havana SO 275 48 Leonard Goicoechea St. Pete BB 178 48

[edit] Hall of Fame Alumni

All three after their major league experience.

[edit] Source

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Second Edition

  • [1] Article on the Florida International League in The Harball Times.
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