Mar 28, 2016

The St. Lucie Mets

As Spring Training winds down, lets take a look at the St. Lucie Mets who will be playing at Tradition Field once the big league club heads North.

Port St. Lucie is a city of approximately 175,000 people located in the mid eastern sections of Florida in St. Lucie County. The area has grown rapidly in the last decade.

The St. Lucie Mets began playing Advanced A ball in 1988, the same year Thomas White Stadium opened up & the New York Mets started playing their Spring Training games there. White was a real estate developer who along with sports writer Jack Champion helped bring the Mets to St. Lucie. The Mets moved on from their previous Spring Training spot of St. Petersburg, Florida.

That same year, the St. Lucie Mets went on to win the Florida State League Championship. Johnny Monell Sr. was the clubs second baseman, father of current Met Johnny Monell Jr.  

After two years the team became the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets & have been that way ever since. In 2004 the stadium's name was changed to Tradition Field, a 7160 seat venue. For a short lived time it was also called Digital Domain Park.

The St. Lucie Mets have won four more Florida State League titles : 1996 with future big leaguers Vance Wilson, Preston Wilson & Guillermo Mota. 1998 with players like Jason Tyner, Melvin Mora, Todd Hundley (12 games) & Grant Roberts.

The 2003 Champions featured David Wright who went on to a fine Mets career, Angel Pagan, Scott Kazmir & Tyler Yates. The last time the St. Lucie Mets won the FSL Championship was in 2006, although they did win a 2011 Divisional title.  

That team featured current Mets Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares as well as Josh Edgin & Matt den Dekker.

Other current Mets who played at St. Lucie are Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejasa & Dilson Herrera.

In 2015 Tradition Field hosted the FSL All Star Game. Current MLB Managers Clint Hurdle (1988-1989) & John Gibbons (1996-1997) both former Mets players have managed the St. Lucie team. Current Mets third base coach Tim Teufel managed the team in 2004-2005 & then again in 2008-2009. Gary Carter managed the 2006 squad.

The team mascot since 2013 is "Klutch" who replaced "Slider" who had been the mascot for 17 years before moving to the Kingsport Mets. A Floridian Mr. Met is also used as a team mascot.

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