Orlando Flyers

From BR Bullpen

Team History[edit]

The Orlando Flyers were members of the Florida State League for two seasons, 1957 and 1958, although they were in fact simply one incarnation of a franchise that played continuously in the FSL from 1946 to 1961 under various names.

A First-hand Recollection[edit]

The following is an anecdote about the team by a former player:

My name is Gerald Manale and I played for the Orlando Flyers in 1958. The club was owned by Robert Feemster, who also owned the Wall Street Journal. It was an independent team and had no affiliation with any major league team although there seemed to be a working agreement between the Toronto Maple Leafs of the AAA International League and the Chicago White Sox. Charlie Grant was the player-manager; he had played the previous year for Toronto. Ty Braziel was the first baseman and the bus driver. I played shortstop mainly but as a result of having so few players, I also played every other infield position and right field.
In 1958, Cuban players were trying to escape the mess in Cuba between Castro and Batista and so we had Roberto Paul playing third base and Rogelio Rodriguez in left field. Other players included Lawson Mitchell the centerfielder, Wayne Lanter and Larry Torkelson, both catchers. Eddie Miller Jr., son of Philadelphia Phillies player Eddie Miller, played shortstop for a short time before being released. The pitchers I can recall were Bill Frencl (who was released), Bobby Wright, Mike Eastman (who later became a scout), Nelson Skuce and a black pitcher who's last name was Grant (note: no such player was on the team; the writer may be referring to James Conrad or Kermit Turner, who were both regular pitchers with the Flyers). Mitchell, Skuce, and I were from Toronto and were signed by the Maple Leafs after playing sandlot ball there. We were not a very good team, finishing last or close to it in both halves of the season. We played at Tinker Field which was across from Lake Lorna Doone and in the same area as the Citrus Bowl.

-- Gerald Manale

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1957 51-87 8th Duke Doolittle (38-46) / John Rose (13-41)
1958 51-88-1 6th Charley Grant (29-42) / Ty Braziel (22-46-1)

Related Sites[edit]