A radical restructuring by major league baseball could put the Daytona Tortugas out of business and endanger the sport’s long-term future.
If you read a news story about baseball in the off-season that’s about anything other roster shifts, chances are you’re reading bad news. The bigger the story, the worse the news.
That’s because off-season news is about the business of baseball. And the business of baseball seldom brings glad tidings to a fan’s heart.
And the big off-season story in baseball is about a radical reorganization of minor league baseball which could eliminate 42 minor league teams. Including the Daytona Tortugas.
Daytona Beach has had a Florida State League-affiliated minor league team since 1920 – an event that told this little place it was a real city and somewhere with a future. The games kept being played with a few interruptions: some gaps in the 1920s and during the Great Depression, the suspension of FSL play during World War II, and those grim, empty-field summers of 1967, 1974-1976, and 1988-1992. In all, 75 years of minor league baseball here. The Daytona Beach Islanders, the Daytona Beach Dodgers, the Datyona Beach Astros, the…