Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

From BR Bullpen

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.jpg

Team History[edit]

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, of the Triple-A International League, briefly in Triple-A East, and formerly of the Double-A Southern League, returned their city to the minors' top tier when MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization floated them up from Double-A. The Miami Marlins farmhands play their home games at 121 Financial Ballpark in Jacksonville, FL.

The Marlins engineered the Shrimp's upward mobility, using the fact that parent clubs had first call on their own farm teams, to shift their Triple-A players from Wichita, KS - to which the Marlins' previous top farm franchise had just moved from New Orleans, LA. At least in geographic terms, the move also benefited the Wichita Wind Surge. While they lost Triple-A status, they ended up with the Minnesota Twins - closer than Jacksonville by a thousand driving miles or three air hours.

Heading into their first season in the same level, the Shrimp and the Durham Bulls announced the "Surf & Turf" season series - but not playing for a trophy: At a home game the next season, the loser had to give away the winner's T-shirts. The Bulls won the series, 22-15, and the Shrimp honored their bet before their May 18, 2023. game with Bulls - which they lost, 7-1.

Owner Ken Babby changed the long-time Suns nickname soon after buying the club, as marketing executives figured that the name "Suns" was too staid at a time when minor league teams were increasingly choosing "far-out" names such as "Rumble Ponies" or "Baby Cakes" - or Babby's own Akron "RubberDucks" - to create a buzz. The move appears to have paid off: Attendance rose nearly one-quarter in 2017 and stayed in the vicinity for the rest of the Affiliated Era.

The team's knack for going way out there was on display again when the list of promotions for the 2024 season was announced: on May 19th, the club decided to celebrate "Public Domain Night" by wearing uniforms with the unlikely combination of Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Starry Bight", Mickey Mouse as depicted in the original "Steamboat Willie" cartoon, and King Kong. All three cultural properties had fallen in the public domain, but the promotion was largely an ode to Mickey, whose parent company, Walt Disney, had fought tooth and nail to keep its rights private, with collateral damage suffered by anyone who wanted to see copyrighted works lose their protection after a decent amount of time, as had been the case for decades until Big Mickey started to lobby Congress. They also planned to make "Happy Birthday to You" the theme song of the evening, reflecting the drawn-out battle to have the ubiquitous song recognized as being in the public domain and thus available for performance free of rights. Other promotions with a very local theme included a "Band Book Night" (where passages from musical biographies were to be read, as a satire of the state of Florida's propensity to ban books from public libraries) and a "Snow White Snowball" night (another dig at Disney).

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching Coach
2017 69-71 6th Randy Ready Lost in 1st round Jesus Merchan Storm Davis Jose Ceballos
2018 55-82 10th Randy Ready Kevin Witt Storm Davis Jose Ceballos
2019 66-71 5th Kevin Randel Sean Berry Bruce Walton Jose Ceballos
2020 Season cancelled
2021 69-51 4th (t) Al Pedrique 6-4 Phil Plantier Jeremy Powell Danny Black
2022 80-69 6th Daren Brown Phil Plantier Jeremy Powell Jose Ceballos
2023 70-79 15th Daren Brown Greg Colbrunn Jeremy Powell Jose Ceballos
2024 Daren Brown Greg Colbrunn Jeremy Powell

Further Reading[edit]

  • Benjamin Hill: "We've seen some wild Minor League jerseys -- and then there's this one", mlb.com, February 26, 2024. [1]

Related Sites[edit]