The Tampa Tarpons are a Minor League Baseball team based in Tampa, Florida. They are members of the Florida State League (FSL) and are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. Home games are played at George M. Steinbrenner Field, which is also the spring training home of the New York Yankees and incorporates design elements from old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Founded in 1994
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League (1994–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||New York Yankees (1994–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (5)|
*Co-champions with Brevard County Manatees
**Co-champions with Daytona Cubs
|Division titles (6)|
|Nickname||Tampa Tarpons (2018–present)|
|Tampa Yankees (1994–2017)|
|Colors||Legends navy, Tarpon silver, Gulf blue, white|
|Ballpark||George M. Steinbrenner Field (1996–present)|
|Red McEwen Field (1994–1995)|
|New York Yankees & Armando Gutierrez|
|General Manager||Matt Gess|
The team was established in 1994 as the Tampa Yankees and played for twenty-three seasons under that name. Before the 2018 season, the team was rebranded as the "Tampa Tarpons", reviving a name that had been used by an earlier FSL franchise for over thirty years. Since their inception, the club has won five league championships, in 1994, 2001, 2004, 2009, and 2010.
The city of Tampa has a long history of minor league and spring training baseball. However, when the original Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League (FSL) were sold and relocated in 1988 and Al Lopez Field was demolished soon thereafter, Tampa was without a professional baseball team or venue. In 1994, the New York Yankees established a new team in the Class A-Advanced FSL and placed them in Tampa. Prior to the 2018 season, the team was known as the Tampa Yankees; however, they were rebranded in 2019 as the Tampa Tarpons, in reference to the previous FSL team.
Notable major league players to once play for Tampa are Derek Jeter, Rubén Rivera, Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Ramiro Mendoza, Tim Raines, Eric Milton, and Luis Sojo.
As part of a deal with the city of Tampa, the Tampa Sports Authority agreed to finance and built a new baseball park for the New York Yankees to use during spring training and the Tampa Yankees to use during the summer. The Tampa Yankees played their first two seasons (1994 and 1995) at Red McEwen Field on the campus of the University of South Florida while their permanent home was under construction. In 1996, they moved to Legends Field, where the playing field had the same dimensions as the major league Yankee's then-home of Yankee Stadium and included some design elements of the ballpark in the Bronx. In 2008, Legends Field was renamed George M. Steinbrenner Field in honor of ailing long-time Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who lived in Tampa.
Steinbrenner Field seats 10,000 fans, and sits across Dale Mabry Highway from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' home of Raymond James Stadium. A pedestrian bridge allows for baseball attendees to easily use the football stadium's much larger parking lot.
- 2017: Lost to Dunedin 2-1 in semifinals.
- 2016: Lost to Bradenton 3-1 in the FSL finals.
- 2010: Defeated Dunedin 2-0 in semifinals; defeated Charlotte 3-1 to win championship.
- 2009: Defeated Brevard County 2-0 in semifinals; defeated Charlotte 3-2 to win championship.
- 2004: Defeated Dunedin 2-0 in semifinals; declared co-champions with Daytona.
- 2002: Lost to Charlotte 2-0 in semifinals.
- 2001: Defeated Charlotte 2-0 in semifinals; declared co-champions with Brevard County.
- 1998: Defeated Charlotte 2-0 in semifinals; lost to St. Lucie 3-2 in finals.
- 1996: Lost to Clearwater 2-0 in semifinals.
- 1995: Lost to Fort Myers 2-1 in semifinals.
- 1994: Defeated Sarasota 2-1 in semifinals; defeated Brevard County 3-1 to win championship.
Tampa Tarpons roster
Hall of Fame alumni
- Tim Raines (1996-1997) Inducted, 2017
- Mariano Rivera (1994) 13 x MLB All-Star; 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player; All-Time MLB Saves Leader, Inducted 2019 With 100% of votes
- John Axford (2007) 2011 NL Saves Leader
- Dellin Betances (2010) 4 x MLB All-Star
- Melky Cabrera (2004) MLB All-Star
- Robinson Cano (2003) 8 x MLB All-Star
- Francisco Cervelli (2007-2008, 2011, 2014)
- Joba Chamberlain (2007, 2012)
- Tyler Clippard (2005) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Mike DeJean (1994)
- Christian Guzman (1997) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Phil Hughes (2005-2006) MLB All-Star
- Derek Jeter (1994, 2000) 14 x MLB All-Star; 1996 AL Rookie of the Year; 2000 World Series Most Valuable Player
- Nick Johnson (1998)
- Aaron Judge (2014) MLB All-Star; 2017 AL Rookie of the Year
- Ian Kennedy (2007-2008)
- Ted Lilly (2000) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Mike Lowell (1996) 4 x MLB All-Star; 2007 World Series Most Valuable Player
- Lee Mazzilli (1997-1998, MGR) MLB All-Star
- Eric Milton (1997) MLB All-Star
- Dioner Navarro (2002) MLB All-Star
- Carl Pavano (2005-2006) MLB All-Star
- Juan Rivera (1999-2000, 2005)
- David Robertson (2007) MLB All-Star
- Brendan Ryan (2014-2015)
- Gary Sanchez (2012-2013) MLB All-Star
- Luis Sojo (2006-2008, 2009, 2011-2013, MGR)
- Marcus Thames (1999)
- "Splash from the past". Minor League Baseball. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- Norris, Josh. "Tampa Yankees Announce Name Change". Baseball America. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Hill, Benjamin (December 11, 2017). "With Tarpons, Tampa throws back to the future". milb.com. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- "Armando Gutierrez meets Robert Molloy through minor league team ownership Article".