Where Jacksonville Scores: The Sports Complexes

November 14, 2015 22 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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Jacksonville’s Northbank is home to great neighborhoods, restaurants and idyllic views of downtown and the water front. It is also home to Jacksonville’s Sports Complex, comprised of three distinct venues located within a mile of each other: the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Veterans Memorial Arena and Everbank Field. They combine to host one major and four minor league franchises that offer year-round sports entertainment for local fans.

Jacksonville “Red Caps”

The love affair between the citizens of Jacksonville and professional team sports dates back to the late 19th century when the city hosted Major League Baseball’s first-ever spring training in 1888. In 1904, the city welcomed its first pro team, the minor league baseball Jacksonville Jays, who played in the South Atlantic League until 1910.  Since then the city has called eight other minor league baseball teams theirs, teams with names like “The Roses,” and “The Tars” (twice) and one major league team, the Jacksonville “Red Caps” which played in the Negro leagues from 1938 to 1942.

Just like the Tars, there have been two teams named the Suns that have played in Jacksonville since 1962: a class Triple-A International League team from 1962–1968, and the current Double-A team from 1970 to the present,  and are currently affiliated with the Miami Marlins. The team has played in the Southern league longer than any other and has one International league championship (1968) and six Southern League championships, with the most recent coming last year (2014). The Suns played at Wolfson Park from 1962 until it was demolished in 2002.

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