This marks the Tarpons return to the Florida State League after a 30 year absence. From 1957 to 1987, the Tarpons called Tampa home, winning league titles in ’57, ’59 and ’61.
“We have great fans in Tampa,” Tarpons general manager Vance Smith said. “This is Tampa’s team, and this name and brand identity honor the community and celebrate Tampa’s rich baseball history.”
Assistant GM Matt Gess says the rebrand isn’t just a simple name change, it’s about honoring baseball’s routes in Tampa. “The Tarpons name gives us the opportunity to connect with our fans and reconnect with Tampa’s baseball heritage,” he said.
Tampa has hosted spring training games for seven major league teams since 1913. It has also been a minor league baseball town since 1919, when the Tampa Smokers were a charter franchise in the original Florida State League.
Tarpons are large feisty fish prized by anglers from around the world. They flock to Florida’s Gulf Coast in hopes of landing a titan of the sea.
The team’s colors will be Legends Navy, Tarpon Silver and Gulf Blue. The club is scheduled to unveil their new hats and uniforms in January.