Long before the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp became one of the poster children for minor league baseball’s era of wacky logos—and long before the Jacksonville Expos of the late 1980s, or the Jacksonville Suns, who played the better part of five decades off and on from the 1960s through 2016—there were the Jacksonville Red Caps.
The so-called Jax Red Caps of the Negro American League were a short-lived team who played seven games in 1938, moved to Cleveland for two seasons, and then moved back to Florida to play the 1941 and 1942 seasons. The team played at Durkee Field, which now houses a small museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Jumbo Shrimp, a Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, will pay homage to the Red Caps this season, wearing throwback uniforms and caps for their June 30 “Salute to the Negro Leagues” game against the Montgomery Biscuits. The team will give away caps matching those the players wear in the field.