The Bradenton Marauders Finish Their Season with a Win

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Pictured: LECOM Park. Courtesy of The Bradenton Herald.

As October nears and many Major League teams make their final push for the postseason, baseball comes to an end here on the Gulf Coast. With the conclusion of the Florida Complex League–the lowest level of Minor League baseball–back in August, the Florida State League ended this past Sunday. The Florida State League, consisting of 10 teams across two divisions in the Single-A level of the Minor Leagues, is home to none other than the Bradenton Marauders–the Single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Although the Marauders (41-24, 76-54) just missed out on postseason contention, the Pirates affiliate still had an incredibly strong season, with big showings from major prospects across the board. The Marauders fought until the very end–despite being eliminated from postseason contention on September 8th, they rallied to win the final two games of the season over the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the Single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

While some may argue that making the playoffs in the Florida State League is irrelevant–after all, Single-A baseball is designed to be a transitory place, an incubator for the development of future Major Leaguers–the Marauders, by virtue of their play, would beg to differ. For the Marauders and countless Minor League teams across the country, winning isn’t just about making the playoffs, it’s about playing with pride. Winning is about playing the game the right way–upholding a standard of organizational excellence from the Major Leagues down to rookie ball. It’s also about not being forgotten. While Tampa Bay may be home to the Rays, Sarasota, Bradenton and countless other cities across the country do not have a Major League team of their own. It’s part of what makes Minor League baseball beautiful–while the names of the prospects that pass through may not live on in memory, the play of these teams like the Marauders surely will.

Pictured: LECOM Park. Courtesy of The Bradenton Herald.

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