Though the Miami Marlins are facing the next few years as a major league franchise with a minor league roster, we fans should be thankful for them and a few things they have brought us over the years.
Top 10 things to be thankful about the Miami Marlins:
1. 1997 World Series Championship: There is nothing more exciting than watching your team win the championship of its respective sport. The 1997 Marlins were a team that was built to win. They accomplished their goal by winning a 7-game World Series over the Cleveland Indians with a dramatic extra-inning finish.
2. 2003 World Series Championship: A more improbable victory, just a few years after rebuilding the franchise from its first “fire sale.” Some of the stars of the teams were cast-offs such as Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Pierre.
3. Marlins Park: Built in 2012, Marlins Park is a 37,000 seat facility is a retractable roof stadium that allows the fans and players the enjoyment of playing games without the miserable heat and humidity of South Florida summers.
4. Giancarlo Stanton: One of the bright young stars in the Major Leagues, Stanton is building an impressive career. If the Marlins are going to return to respectability, he will be one of the leaders.
5. Jeff Conine: Known as “Mr. Marlin,” Conine went 4-for-4 in the team’s inaugural game. During parts of 8 seasons and 2 different stinits with the Marlins, he went on to win 2 World Series and represented the team in 2 All-Star Games. Conine, representing the Marlins, was the 1995 All-Star Game MVP after hitting a pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning.
6. Orange Road Caps: Since the Marlins plays its home games at the site of the old Orange Bowl Stadium, it is great the team has chosen to integrate the color in its road caps. The orange cap is quite unusual for any major league team.
7. Discovering Miguel Cabrera: Though Cabrera has gone onto great success with the Detroit Tigers, the Marlins had Cabrera for five seasons. Cabrera made it to the big leagues in 2003. After winning the Triple Crown and the American League MVP in 2012, Cabrera is building a Hall-Of-Fame career.
8. Mike Redmond: Just hired as the Marlins’ manager for the 2013 season, Redmond is a former catcher who has come back to be the team’s field boss. Redmond spent 7 of his 13 seasons as a big-leaguer with the Marlins.
9. “Trader Jack” McKeon: Serving two stints as the Marlins’ manager (2003-2005, 2011), McKeon helped turned around the moribund team in 2003 to a World Series winner. McKeon was one of the most quotable managers in baseball history.
10. Ending the Marlins Mermaids: Though the Mermaids are not part of the festivities at Marlins Park, they were known to be the first group of cheerleaders/dance troupe for a Major League team. They were lovely ladies, but cheerleaders in baseball is weird.
Edwin Alexander is a Miami native and a fan of the now Miami Marlins since their start in 1993. His favorite moment in team history was attending the 2003 World Series parade and regularly attends Marlins games.