Daytona leaders prepared to fight to keep Tortugas – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

Daytona Beach leaders say they’ll do what they can to fight a proposal to eliminate 42 minor league baseball teams that could include the Daytona Tortugas.

DAYTONA BEACH — In 1920, Daytona Beach got its first minor league baseball team, called the Islanders in a nod to the stadium’s location on City Island.

The 100-year anniversary next year should be a happy occasion that pays homage to all of the springs and summers local residents have watched budding stars play baseball on the city’s riverfront. But with Major League Baseball contemplating eliminating or relocating 42 minor league teams by the end of 2020, including the Daytona Tortugas, next summer could be one long goodbye to professional baseball at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

“It’s just a tragedy,” said Rick French, one of the Tortugas’ three owners. “We’re going to do everything humanly possible to keep that from happening. As owners we look at ourselves as custodians of baseball history in Daytona Beach.”

The 42 minor league franchises, a large portion of the 162 minor league teams nationwide, could cease to exist when the current agreement between Major League Baseball and minor league…

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