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Welcome to Fort Myers
Fort Myers' minor league baseball team, the Miracle, has been a staple of the tourist city since the franchise moved there in 1992. Before its time in Fort Myers, the Miracle played in Miami, where the team was an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Its current affiliate is the Minnesota Twins.
 

Miracle Baseball

 
According to the Miracle's official Web site, the team has won five Florida State League championships and has a solid reputation for sending players to the big leagues, including Cal Ripken Jr.

Long before Ripken played for the Miracle, though, the franchise was known as the Fort Myers Palms. The team got its footing in 1926 back when Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters in Fort Myers.

At that time there were only eight teams in the league, and the Fort Myers Palms placed third that first season. Eventually the team relocated to Miami and became the Miami Hustlers before returning to Fort Myers' Terry Park in the early 90s.

Following a lapse in play between 1928 and 1962 due to a disbanded league, the Hustlers were reborn officially in 1962. By now the team had a new name, the Miami Marlins, and an affiliation with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Marlins were known for attaining record-setting attendance numbers. The team set a single-season high with 103,687 in 1964, according to the official Web site.

The team also set another record in 1966 for the longest game ever played in professional baseball. A game against the St. Petersburg Cardinals lasted six hours and 59 minutes, or 29 innings. That record was finally broken in 1981, but it still stands as a record in the Florida State League. The team went on to win four consecutive league titles.

Eventually the Baltimore Orioles purchased the Marlins and the franchise name changed to the Miami Orioles, or Baby O's. The glitz died down when the Miami Orioles faced tough times against the St. Petersburg Cardinals. Eventually the Baltimore Orioles sold the team back to Miami locals and ended its long-standing affiliation with the team.

Following a period of independence, the once-again Marlins were sold to Bill Murray and Jimmy Buffett, among others, in 1990. The franchise name changed again, this time to the Miami Miracle. Eventually Mike Veeck jumped on board and had a hand in moving the team to Pompano Beach, which helped boost a sagging attendance.

Two years later the Miracle returned to Fort Myers as a club team. The attendance for that first season was through the roof: 105,578 and the highest to date. The Minnesota Twins picked up the Miracle the following year and remains the affiliate major league team.

Want to attend a Miracle game while visiting Fort Myers? Check the schedule here.

 

Hotels around Hammond Stadium

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Homewood Suites Clarion Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn Econo Lodge Airport Best Western Airport
Comfort Suites Airport Comfort Inn Springhill Suites
 
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