10/28/2012. Orlando, FL. While it has been rumored all season since new GM Joe Lloyd took the reigns, the Gobbler’s Knob Turkeys are relocating to Central Florida. The team will be renamed the Orlando SunRays. After a year of construction, SunRays Stadium has been completed on the Eastern bank of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. The team’s new colors will be Electric Blue, SunRay Magenta and Quick Silver. Owner Stan Martinez had this to say, “2012 had it’s ups and downs but we’re excited for the future in Central Florida. GM Joe Lloyd started out his tenure with a bang by trading for Superstars Melvin Upton Jr. and Evan Longoria. Hopes were high as Spring Training went well, but then tragedy struck. As Spring Training ended and we were packing up to head north, original Team Owner and my father, Diego Martinez passed away unexpectedly. I am heartbroken that he did not get to see the rebirth of this franchise. We played 2012 in his memory and ended the season with our best record ever. We finished 2nd for the first time and were chasing a playoff bid until the last week of the season. We will continue to honor my father’s legacy as we move forward with baseball operations in Orlando. The future is truly bright for the SunRays franchise!”
As part of the rebranding the SunRays are moving their AAA team in the Gulf Coast League from Lakeland to Daytona Beach, Florida. They will be renamed the Daytona Tortugas.
Our AA team in the Caribbean League will remain in Nassau but be renamed the Nassau Sand Sharks.
Our A+ team in the Cuban League will remain in Camaragüey, but we will adopt the Spanish spelling of our nickname, so we will be known as the Camaragüey Canarias.
Our A in the Great Lakes Baseball League will give the Major League Troutheads a bit of breathing room by moving from Toledo to Dayton, Ohio where they will be now known as the Dayton Dragons.
Finally, our Rookie League team in the Texas League will be moving to the outskirts of Austin but keeping our nickname so we will be known as the Round Rock Armadillos.
It’s an exciting time for SunRays baseball and we are hoping for our first playoff berth in franchise history in 2013!