The Tampa Tarpons, of the Florida State League and briefly in Low-A Southeast, are owned by their parent club. The New York Yankees farmhands play their home games at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL.
MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization lowered the Tarpons, and most of the FSL, one level.
The 1965 Tarpons were the first minor-league team for which Johnny Bench played. Drafted that year, the Reds great would go on to win the 1968 National League Rookie of the Year Award and the 1970 and 1972 NL Most Valuable Player Award. Bench became known for redefining the position of catcher. Few backstops were great hitters before him - with the notable exception of Josh Gibson in the Negro Leagues - but Bench not only hit for decent average and tremendous power, he was also recognized as a great pitch-caller and for introducing new techniques behind the plate that helped make him one of the great defensive receivers of all time as well.
The Tampa Yankees in 1994 returned FSL ball to Tampa six seasons after the Tampa White Sox moved to Sarasota, FL. In 1998, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays arrived in what is now their protected territory. In 2018, the long-time moniker of Tampa's previous FSL franchise replaced "Yankees". The nickname had been used by the previous Tampa FSL franchise from 1957 through its 1988 departure. When the big-league Tampa Bay Devil Rays were exploring a nickname change before simply dropping the "Devil", the considered "Tarpons" as a piece of Tampa baseball history. The Rays have even worn Tarpons throwback uniforms for Turn Back the Clock Night.
The man-on-second-in-extra-innings rule MLB required the minors to adopt in 2018 caused the Tarps to lose a game in a way that should be impossible. Tarpon starting pitcher Diego Garcia threw seven perfect innings; the game being a minor-league double-header, that was "regulation" that day - but Tampa hadn't scored either. Per the invented-runner rule, Luke Williams trotted to second to start the 8th. Reliever Christian Morris didn't "allow" him to reach base, but he was nevertheless there when Henri Lartigue smacked a grounder back to the mound. Morris threw to second as Williams broke for third, and second baseman Diego Castillo dropped the ball trying to relay it to third. That put the batter on first - but by a fielder's choice, which should have been impossible. Morris got the next out with another grounder, but the next grounder went to first and Lartigue beat the throw to the plate.
In 2022, the team made history when Rachel Balkovec was named its manager, the first woman to manage a team in the history of Organized Baseball.