- Location: Hamilton, OH 2003; Florence, KY 2004-2019
- League: Frontier League 2003-2019
- Affiliation: Independent
- Ballpark: Foundation Field 2003; Champion Windows Field 2004-2019
The Johnstown Johnnies moved to the Cincinnati, OH metropolitan area to become the Florence Freedom of the independent Frontier League in 2003. The team was slated to play in Florence, KY, on the other side of the Ohio River, but because no ballpark was available at the time, they played their first season in Hamilton, OH, on the campus of Miami University, with disastrous results, finishing with the worst record in the 12-team league. The team had tried to tap into connections with the Cincinnati Reds, hiring former Reds star Chris Sabo as manager, but he quit at the beginning of training camp, leaving the job to former Reds pitcher Tom Browning. Attendance was awful that first year, not surprising as the city of Florence is over an hour away from Hamilton, making it difficult from local fans to connect with the name.
Things improved markedly off the field in 2004, when the Freedom moved into the brand-new (and not completely-finished) Champion Windows Field in their home city and tripled their attendance numbers. On the field, things were still as bad, leading to Browning's firing by text message on July 7th. He was replaced by Pete Rose, Jr., the son of the local legend Pete Rose, but after one game Rose quit to resume his playing career in the rival Northern League. Mike Easler inherited the reins of the team for the remainder of the season. While this was going on, the front office being roiled by the financial and legal troubles of owner Chuck Hildebrandt. The League was forced to take over operation of the team partway through the season and sold it to local businessman Clint Brown at the end of the year.
2005 saw a great improvement on the field, the Freedom having their first winning season under new manager Jamie Keefe, lured away from the Chillicothe Paints. While the team's play has been mediocre in the following years, the next winning season only coming in 2012, it has at least found some stability within its home community. After the 2008 season, Toby Rumfield was named the team's new manager.
|2004||31-65||11th||Tom Browning (13-33) / Pete Rose Jr. (1-0) /
Mike Easler (17-32)
|2005||53-42||2nd (t)||Jamie Keefe|
|2008||47-49||8th (t)||Jamie Keefe|
|2011||39-57||10th (t)||Fran Riordan|
|2012||57-39||2nd (t)||Fran Riordan||Lost League Finals|
|2013||53-43||4th (t)||Fran Riordan||Lost in 1st Round|
|2015||49-47||5th (t)||Dennis Pelfrey|
|2017||61-35||2nd||Dennis Pelfrey||Lost League Finals|
|2019||57-39||1st (t)||Dennis Pelfrey||Lost League Finals|