August 18, 2022
Florida’s sports history is long and full of ups, downs, great stories, and iconic teams. If you’re a Floridian, it’s almost sure that aside from loving your state, you also love a local, sports team, or a few of them, with a passion. However, today’s teams wouldn’t be where they are without their predecessors, and that’s what we’re here to celebrate today. Check out our list of our top 10 vintage Florida Sports Teams of the Past, and find some fantastic apparel you can wear to commemorate them yourself!
Charter member of the USFL, The Bandits were known for their great success in the short-lived spring football league, both in the ticket booths and on the charts. The Bandits played three great seasons, from 1983 to 1985, and during those years drew the highest average attendance in the entire three-year lifespan of the USFL. Show your love for the team with your own Tampa Bay Bandits t-shirt!
Another USFL veteran, the Jacksonville Bulls, played during the league’s two final seasons (1984 and 1985), setting the stage and precedent for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite a lack of name talent, the Bulls stayed competitive during most games and showed the importance of a solid team effort and great coaching (Lindy Infante coached the team during both seasons). If you’re old-school like us and love the Jacksonville Bulls, this t-shirt is for you.
Moving on to baseball, the St. Petersburg –or St. Pete, if you’re friendly with the team– Pelicans are known as one of the eight original franchises that began playing in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. The Pelicans’ history was short-lived but remembered with love, going down in history as leaders of the league when it folded in 1990. Pelicans fans who are in desperate need of some amazing team merch – we’ve got you. Check out our St. Petersburg Pelicans t-shirt here!
Floridians basketball fans – we’ve got one for you. The Miami Floridians – later known as The Floridians – were a professional basketball franchise in the original American Basketball Association (which no longer exists). Known more for their crazy promotions than their actual games, here are some of our personal favorites: live turkeys for Thanksgiving, 15 pounds of smoked fish (for just one person!), 57 pounds of Irish potatoes, 53 pumpkin pies, vats of gefilte fish, kegs of beer, ice cream, and ABA balls. If you like the Floridian’s random promos or were actually a fan of the team, be sure to check out our Miami Floridian’s t-shirt.
Old school hockey fans will know – the Tiger Sharks’ first three seasons were a thing of beauty. Their immediate success is memorable, winning most of their games and making the playoffs in their first three seasons. Although their luck would change after that, it’s always good to remember the good years, and what better way to do so than with your own Tallahassee Tiger Sharks t-shirt?
Continuing with some more vintage hockey, we’ve got to include the Suncoast Suns on the list. They played the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons in the EHL and in their final season, from October to December 1973 in the SHL. Based in Tampa Bay, the Suncoast Suns were the first professional hockey team in the area, which means they led the way for future Tampa Bay teams. Our Suncoast Suns t-shirt is the best way to pay this amazing team homage.
Another SHL team for the books, the Bullets was the league's runner-up all three seasons it lasted and managed to lose the Finals 3-0 all three times to the West Palm Beach Blaze. But winning isn’t everything, and underdogs are sometimes the most loveable teams. If you love the Bullets, get your Jacksonville Bullets t-shirt here!
Another short-lived USFL figure, the Orlando Renegades, only played one season before the league folded. Although the Renegades managed to create some memorable moments during their short time in the league, they are also remembered as the USFL’s worst defense. But as we’ve said before, scores aren’t everything and there’s definitely much more to loving a team than its defense. If you were an Orlando Renegades fan, this t-shirt was made special for you.
Last but not least, another Tampa Bay favorite. The Tritons only played one season but helped generate more hockey fans in the area. We all know that the not-so-conventional sports fans are usually the most devoted, so if you rooted for the Tampa Bay Tritons during their one and only season of 1993-94, you undoubtedly need a t-shirt that says so. Check out our Tampa Bay Tritons tee here!
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