The Norfolk Tides are a minor league baseball team in the Triple-A International League. They play at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia. Since 2007 they have been a farm team of the Baltimore Orioles; prior to that, they had a 38-year affiliation with the New York Mets.
The franchise began its history in the South Atlantic League in 1961 as the Tidewater Tides, playing at Lawrence Stadium in Portsmouth. The main newspaper of South Hampton Roads, The Virginian-Pilot, ran a contest to determine the team name. Although the chosen name was "Mariners", the Pilot′s editor overruled the contest, deciding he liked the alliteration of "Tidewater Tides."
The Tides spent their first year as an "independent" team with no direct major-league affiliation, but became a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate the following season. However, the South Atlantic League decided to pull out of Virginia in 1963, threatening the future of minor-league baseball in the Hampton Roads area. A local group was able to convince the Carolina League to expand by two teams, one of them being the Tides.