Orlando Rays Professional Baseball
The Montgomery Biscuits are a minor league baseball team based in
Montgomery, Alabama. The team is the Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays and plays in the Southern League. The 2004 season was the team's
first in Montgomery. The Biscuits play in Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium,
which has a capacity of 7,000.
The franchise joined the Southern League in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, a
minor-league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, which held spring training in
Orlando, Florida at the time. The Orlando Twins played at Tinker Field in
downtown Orlando, near the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. In 1990, the team
was renamed the Orlando Sun Rays. In 1993, the Chicago Cubs became the
team's new major-league affiliate, and the team was renamed the Orlando
Cubs. While still a Chicago Cubs affiliate, the team renamed itself once
again in 1997 and became the Orlando Rays. The following year, for one
season only, the Seattle Mariners were the Rays' major-league affiliate. The
Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an American League expansion team in 1998, assumed the
Orlando Rays' major-league affiliation the following year.
The Orlando Rays' last season at Tinker Field was 1999. From 2000 to 2003,
the Orlando Rays played in Kissimmee, Florida, Despite the fact that the team
played in a state-of-the-art stadium that was built in 1997 and used during
spring training by the Atlanta Braves, attendance did not meet expectations;
after trailing the Southern League in attendance in multiple years, the
Rays' owners announced the team would move to Montgomery in 2004. The
Biscuits became Montgomery's first professional baseball team since 1980,
when the Montgomery Rebels played their final season in the Southern League.
While in Orlando, the franchise won three Southern League championships: in
1981 (as the Twins), 1991 (as the Sun Rays), and 1999 (as the Rays).
Players who first played in Major League Baseball after playing for the
Biscuits include pitchers Scott Kazmir, Franklin Nunez, and John Webb,
infielder B.J. Upton, and outfielder Joey Gathright.
The Biscuits' owners selected the team's nickname from an entry in a "name
the team" contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun