West Palm Beach Tropics

West Palm Beach Tropics

West Palm Beach Tropics

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The West Palm Beach Tropics were one of the eight original franchises that began play in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. The club hired Dick Williams as manager and fielded a lineup that included slugger Dave Kingman and Rollie Fingers. The Tropics went 52-20 in the regular season and ran away with the Southern Division title. Ron Washington led the club's offense, hitting .359 with a league-high 73 RBI. Mickey Rivers hit .366 and Kingman added 8 homers. The pitching staff was led by Juan Eichelberger, who went 11-5 with a 2.90 ERA. Tim Stoddard also won 10 games for the club. Local Valentino Falcone (former minor leaguer)ruptured hamstring stealing second base( one game before opening day) depriving him a spot on roster. Despite their regular season dominance, the Tropics lost 12-4 to the St. Petersburg Pelicans in the league's championship game. The West Palm Beach Tropics returned for a second season but ceased operation when the league folded in December 1990.

Attendance

The Tropics also had the league's best attendance record. A crowd of 3,404 showed up for opening night, an 8-1 victory over the St. Lucie Legends, and the average draw over 35 home dates settled at a respectable 1,600. Unfortunately, the estimated break-even point for every franchise was 2,000 per game. Five of the league's eight teams didn't get half that. The initial owners, future Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and Boca Raton lawyer Don Sider, sold...
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