Lakeland Flying Tigers
|Lakeland Flying Tigers|
Founded in 1960
|Previous||Class A (1962–1989)|
Class D (1960)
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League (1960–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Detroit Tigers (1963–present)|
|Previous||San Francisco Giants (1962) Cleveland Indians (1960)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)|
|Nickname||Lakeland Flying Tigers (2007–present)|
|Lakeland Tigers (1963–2006)|
Lakeland Giants (1962)
|Ballpark||Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (1966–2001, 2003–2015, 2017–)|
|Henley Field (1960, 1962–1965, 2002, 2016)|
|Detroit Tigers, Inc.|
|General Manager||Zach Burek|
Home games are played at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium; opened in 1966 and most recently renovated in 2017. The park, which doubles as the Detroit Tigers spring training home, seats 8,500 fans. It plays in the Florida State League and has been the High-A affiliate of the Tigers since 1963, one of the two longest unbroken affiliate relationships currently existing. Until November 2006, the team was known as the Lakeland Tigers, with branding similar to the parent club. However the team originated in 1960 as the Lakeland Indians, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. After a one-year hiatus, the team was restarted in 1962 as the Lakeland Giants, and an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
In 1997, playing with the Flying Tigers, Gabe Kapler led the Florida State League in doubles and total bases, and tied for first in extra base hits.
In 2012, the Flying Tigers won their first FSL title in 20 years by defeating the Jupiter Hammerheads, three games to two. It was the fourth league title in club history.
In 2006, the team introduced a new name and colors to pay homage to the Lakeland School of Aeronautics, later the Lodwick School of Aeronautics. The school trained over 8,000 pilots between 1940 and 1945, some of whom later flew with the Flying Tigers in China during World War II, and was actually located at the current site of Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Lakeland Flying Tigers roster
Baseball Hall of Fame alumni
- Jack Morris (1989) Inducted 2018
- John Smoltz (1986) Inducted, 2015
Notable former ballplayers
- Tony Clark (1993) MLB All-Star
- Francisco Cordero (1998) 3 x MLB All-Star
- Juan Encarnacion (1994, 1996)
- Mark Fidrych (1975, 1978) 2 x MLB All-Star; 1976 AL ERA Leader; 1976 AL Rookie of the Year
- Tito Fuentes (1962)
- Kirk Gibson (1978) 1986 NL Most Valuable Player; 2011 NL Manager of the Year
- Curtis Granderson, 3 x MLB All-Star; Member of the 20-20-20-20 Club
- Jerry Grote (1985-MGR) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Carlos Guillén (2011) 3 x MLB All-Star
- Bill Gullickson (1993) 1991 AL Wins Leader
- Omar Infante (2000) MLB All-Star
- Howard Johnson (1979-1980) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Gabe Kapler (1997), Outfielder and manager
- Ron Leflore (1974) MLB All-Star; 2 x AL Stolen Base Leader
- Rick Leach (1979)
- Jim Leyland (1964, 1969, 1976-1978-MGR) 3 x MLB Manager of the Year; Manager: 1997 World Series Champion - Florida Marlins
- Jose Lima (1991-1992, 1995) MLB All-Star
- Jerry Manuel (1973) 2000 AL Manager of the Year
- Andrew Miller (2007) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Phil Nevin (1997) MLB All-Star
- Lance Parrish (1975) 8 x MLB All-Star
- Dan Petry (1977, 1986) MLB All-Star
- Rick Porcello (2008) 2016 AL Cy Young Award
- Gary Sheffield (2008) 9 x MLB All-Star; 1992 NL Batting Title
- Ugueth Urbina (2004) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Justin Verlander (2005) 6 x MLB All-Star; 2006 AL Rookie of the Year; 2011 AL Cy Young Award; 2011 AL Most Valuable Player; etc.
- David Wells (1994) 3 x MLB All-Star; 1998-Pitched Perfect Game
- Lou Whitaker (1976) 5 x MLB All-Star; 1978 AL Rookie of the Year
- Dontrelle Willis (2009) 2 x MLB All-Star; 2003 NL Rookie of the Year
- John Wockenfuss (1987)
- Dmitri Young (2006) 2 x MLB All-Star
- 2012: Defeated Dunedin 2–0 in semifinals; defeated Jupiter 3–2 to win championship.
- 2005: Defeated Dunedin 2–0 in semifinals; lost to Palm Beach 3–2 in finals.
- 2002: Defeated Jupiter 2–0 in semifinals; lost to Charlotte 3–2 in finals.
- 1997: Lost to St. Petersburg 2–0 in semifinals.
- 1993: Lost to St. Lucie 2–1 in semifinals.
- 1992: Defeated West Palm Beach 2–0 in quarterfinals; defeated Clearwater 2–0 in semifinals; defeated Baseball City 2–0 to win championship.
- 1991: Lost to West Palm Beach 2–0 in semifinals.
- 1990: Lost to West Palm Beach 2–1 in semifinals.
- 1989: Lost to St. Petersburg 2–1 in semifinals.
- 1988: Lost to St. Lucie 2–1 in quarterfinals.
- 1987: Lost to Fort Lauderdale 2–0 in semifinals.
- 1978: Defeated St. Petersburg 1–0 in semifinals; lost to Miami 2–1 in finals.
- 1977: Defeated Miami 2–0 in semifinals; defeated St. Petersburg 3–1 to win championship.
- 1976: Defeated Miami 2–0 in semifinals; defeated Tampa 2–0 to win championship.
- 1974: Lost to Fort Lauderdale 2–0 in semifinals.
- 1973: Lost to West Palm Beach 2–1 in semifinals.
- 1970: Lost to Miami 2–0 in semifinals.
- Hill, Benjamin. "PDC's make everything old new again, www.milb.com". Web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- "1997 Florida State League - Season Review". www.thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Benjamin Hill (November 13, 2006). "Article | Lakeland Flying Tigers News". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Archived February 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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