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The Miami Marlins are a Major League Baseball team based in Miami, Florida. They are in Eastern Division of the National League.

In only a decade since their inception into the majors, the Marlins have been highly successful on the field, winning two World Series, but draw among the smallest crowds in baseball. In late 2005, the organization began a fire sale and announced plans to relocate in the coming years.

Franchise history []


On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a franchise to Wayne Huizenga, chief executive officer of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, owner of the Miami Dolphins football team, and chairman of the board of the Florida Panthers hockey team. The Marlins' first manager was Rene Lachemann, a former catcher who had previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers. Lachemann kept Florida out of the Eastern Division cellar during the 1993 season as the team finished the year five games ahead of the last-place New York Mets. After the Marlins finished last in their division in 1994 and fourth in 1995, Lachemann was replaced as manager midway through the 1996 season with the Marlins' director of player development, John Boles.

Despite problems in the dugout and on the field, the Marlins had some bright spots on the mound and behind the plate in 1996. The team's 3.95 ERA ranked third in the NL, led by newcomer Kevin Brown, who finished the season with a 17-11 win-loss record and an impressive 1.89 ERA. Catcher Charles Johnson led the league with a .995 fielding percentage, threw out a league-high 48 percent of base runners, and collected his second straight Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence. After a slow start, the Marlins finished the year with an 80-82 win-loss record to place third in their division. Boles then returned to his previous position as director of player development, and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was hired to lead the club in 1997.

1997 season[]

The Marlins got their second no-hitter from ace Kevin Brown, the first coming in 1996 from Al Leiter. With those two starters and an almost automatic closer in Robb Nen, the Marlin's staff was almost systematic during their regular season run. In 1997, the Florida Marlins led by new manager Leyland won the wild card, finishing 92-70. RF Gary Sheffield followed his 40 HR 120 RBI season with a .250 average but 6 million dollars richer. Veteran additions such as CF Devon White, 3B Bobby Bonilla, and Darren "Dutch" Daulton added experience and clutch hits. Talented young stars and starters Luis Castillo (2B) and Edgar Renteria (SS) were one of the best double play combos in the League. Castillo was injured and replaced by Craig Counsell before the playoffs began. They swept the San Francisco Giants 3-0 in the National League Division Series, and then went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in the National League Championship Series.

The underdog Florida Marlins went on to face the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series and won in 7 games, with an amazing extra-inning single by shortstop Edgar Rentería off of Cleveland pitcher Charles Nagy, which barely cleared his glove, scoring Craig Counsell to win the game. Liván Hernández was named the MVP.


Following the World Series victory team owner Wayne Huizenga claimed massive financial losses which would later prove to be mostly false as he reported team and stadium earnings separately. He dismantled the team by trading off most of the club's most talented players. Among them, Moises Alou was traded to the Houston Astros, Bobby Bonilla was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Kevin Brown was traded to the San Diego Padres. Fans were outraged by this "fire sale", some comparing it to Blockbuster Video selling used tapes at bargain rates. Some disgruntled fans came up with the slogan, "Wait 'til last year!" Marlins home attendance plummeted.

The Marlins' record in 1998 slumped to 54-108, making them the first club ever to win a World Series and then lose more than 100 games during the following season; as of 2005, they are still the only team to do this. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and Huizenga sold the club to businessman John Henry during the off-season. In 2002, the Marlins' fifth straight losing season since winning the World Series, the team drew a franchise-low 813,111 fans, averaging just 10,038 per game.

The club slowly worked back to becoming a respectable ballclub despite attendance issues, driven by young stars such as A.J. Burnett, Luis Castillo, and Mike Lowell. From 2000 through 2002, the Marlins consecutively put up three 75+ win seasons. In 2002, Jeff Torborg replaced Tony Perez as the Marlins' manager. Torborg put up a 79-83 record in his first season with the team.

In 2002 the club would also be distracted by new owner Jeffrey Loria becoming the co-defendant (along with Commissioner Bud Selig) in a RICO Act lawsuit filed by the former minority partners of the Montréal Expos, the team Loria previously owned. The minority owners (many of whom were now minority partners of the Marlins) claimed that Loria and Selig deliberately defrauded the minority owners and devalued the team for personal gain. The case was sent to arbitration in 2004 and was settled for an undisclosed sum.

2003 season[]

In the offseason, the Marlins acquired 10-time Golden Glove winner Iván Rodríguez from free agency and Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies after trading off homerun sluggers Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson.

The Marlins struggled in the opening stages of the season, going 16-22. In that span, Florida also lost its top three pitchers, A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, and Mark Redman. On May 11, Florida replaced manager Torborg with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. On May 22, Florida was at its lowest point, with a major league worst record of 19-29, having lost 6 straight games.

Around the same time (May 9), Florida called the high-kicking rookie phenom Dontrelle Willis up from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, who helped carry the injury-plagued Marlins with a 11-2 record in his first 3 months (17 starts). Miguel Cabrera (also from the Mudcats), Jeff Conine (from Baltimore) and Ugueth Urbina (from Texas) were all acquired mid-season as well to help the Marlins play-off push. Finally, Florida clinched the National League Wild Card for the second time in team history with a 4-3 win over the New York Mets on September 26, finishing with an overall record of 91-71.

The Marlins clinched the Division Series against the favored San Francisco Giants going 3 games to 1. In the two Division Series games at Pro Player Stadium, Florida drew over 130,000 fans. The series ended with Marlins catcher Rodríguez tagging out a charging J.T. Snow at the plate after catching a perfect throw from Jeff Conine, which made it just in time to make the play. Snow, the son of former Rams wide receiver Jack Snow, tried using a football-type move by lowering his shoulder and bulldozing Rodríguez at the plate, but the Marlins catcher held on to the ball for the out. It was the first postseason series ever to end with the potential tying run being thrown out at the plate. On October 15, the Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs four games to three in the 2003 National League Championship Series, after falling three games to one before coming back with a Beckett complete-game shutout in Game 5; The Inning, in Game 6, and the traditional come-from-behind win in Game 7 to take the series, staking claim to their second NL pennant and advancing to the 2003 World Series, where they defeated the New York Yankees in six games. Starter Josh Beckett was named the Most Valuable Player for the series after twirling a five-hit complete-game shutout in Game 6.

2003 offseason[]

2004 season[]

Although posting a winning record of 83-79 (only their third winning season of their history), the Marlins' aspirations of successfully defending their World Series title fell short as they finished nine games behind the Houston Astros for the National League Wild Card title, thus the Marlins became the fourth consecutive major league team not to repeat as World Series champions.

A series of rain-outs in September (due to hurricanes in Florida), the delayed doubleheaders that followed, and losing three key players from the Marlins' previous championship year (Rodríguez, Lee and Urbina) factored in the team's downfall during the season's stretch run.

But the team was able to retain Jack McKeon as manager for the 2005 season.

2005 season[]

While losing All-Stars Carl Pavano and Armando Benitez in the off-season, the Marlins signed P Al Leiter and 1B Carlos Delgado. Delgado's contract was the biggest in franchise history at $52 million over 4 years, with an option for a fifth year. Meanwhile, play-by-play TV broadcaster Len Kasper was also lost to the Chicago Cubs and replaced by Rich Waltz (who had previously been with the Seattle Mariners), and radio announcer Boog Sciambi was replaced by Roxy Bernstein.

With the addition of Delgado, the Marlins were expected to finish the 2005 season in either first or second place in the NL East by many sportswriters. However, at the All-Star break they were 44-42, and the NL East was unusually competitive, as all five of its teams had a winning record at the break. As a result, the Marlins were criticized for underachieving in the first half of the season. While Cabrera, Willis, and several others posted very good first-half numbers, Lowell was one of the worst offensive producers among regular major-league starters, and Leiter went 3-7 with an ERA of 6.64 before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 15 for a player to be named later. Additionally, Guillermo Mota, who was acquired by Florida in 2004 along with Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion and was expected to be their closer, turned out inconsistent, and the Marlins gave the closer job to veteran Todd Jones, whom they signed in the offseason. However, the Marlins did send four players to the All-Star Game (Willis, Lo Duca, Castillo, and Cabrera), tying a team record.

The club was expected to be quite active at the trading deadline (July 31), as Burnett was slated to be a free agent after the season and had already declared his desire to test the market like Pavano did rather than stay in Florida. Burnett was mentioned in possible trades with the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers, with many rumors also including Lowell or Encarnacion. There were also rumors that Jack McKeon would be fired, with former Marlins manager Jim Leyland and Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi being among the rumored replacements. The Marlins did not make a huge move at the deadline, instead trading minor-leaguers Yorman Bazardo and Mike Flannery to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed pitcher Ron Villone.

The Marlins did have some pleasant surprises during the season. Dontrelle Willis became the 13th member of the Black Aces when he defeated the Washington Nationals to earn his 20th win. He finished the season 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA, and he was considered a favorite to win the Cy Young Award for much of the season. Also, Jones, a journeyman who had been signed as a setup man, had one of the best years of his career as a closer; he earned 40 saves and had a 2.13 ERA. In addition, late-season callup Jeremy Hermida, a highly-regarded prospect who has been compared to the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur, hit a grand slam in his first major-league at-bat and a game-tying two-run homer in the last game of the season.

The Marlins led the NL wild-card race as late as September 13, but they then lost 12 of their next 14 games. Adding to the controversy was the September 26 dismissal of A.J. Burnett from the team for making disparaging comments about the Marlins' lack of offense, their "scared" ways of playing and coaching, and Jack McKeon's management of the team. The Marlins closed the season by sweeping the Braves, and their final record for the season stood at 83-79.

2005 offseason[]

McKeon, still the oldest manager in the majors at age 74, announced his retirement on October 2 after the Marlins' last game of the season. Former Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, Braves third base coach Fredi Gonzalez (who previously managed in the Marlins' farm system), and New York Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi were named as possible replacements for McKeon. [1] On October 19, Girardi was hired as the new manager. Girardi, who was hired at age 41, became the youngest current manager in the major leagues. [2]

Few of the coaching staff, aside from infield/first base coach Perry Hill and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault, are expected to return; Marlins GM Larry Beinfest has told them to seek employment elsewhere. Pitching coach Mark Wiley and bullpen coach Luis Dorante came under fire during the season due to the late-season struggles of Burnett and the season-long struggles of the Marlins' bullpen. Similarly, hitting coach Bill Robinson was often blamed for the Marlins' offensive woes throughout the season, and in particular his failure to get Pierre and Lowell out of season-long slumps. Girardi is considering Andrés Galarraga as a replacement for Robinson; he has also hired Rick Kranitz as the new pitching coach and Bobby Meacham as the new third-base coach.

On October 3, the first day after the end of the regular season, the Marlins made their first offseason moves, releasing relief pitchers John Riedling and Tim Spooneybarger. Riedling had a 4-1 record and a 7.14 ERA during the season; Spooneybarger, who had not played since 2003 due to rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, had to have the surgery a second time during the season and is expected to miss at least the 2006 season as well. Reliever Jim Mecir retired following the Marlins' last game of the season.

Todd Jones, A.J. Burnett, Jeff Conine, Lenny Harris, Juan Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez, Brian Moehler, Ismael Valdez, and Paul Quantrill were among the Marlins players whose contracts expired following the 2005 season. Following the playoffs, they declared free agency. Burnett signed a five-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $55 million; Jones signed for two years with the Detroit Tigers, and Moehler elected to remain with the Marlins. The Marlins declined to offer arbitration to Conine, Valdez, Quantrill, Encarnacion, Damion Easley, and Mike Mordecai, therefore ending their tenures with the club. [3]

Soon after the end of the 2005 season, the Marlins reported that their proposal for a new stadium had died due to the rising costs needed for building a new stadium. Team president David Samson stated that the Marlins would explore relocation, and mentioned Las Vegas, Nevada, Portland, Oregon, Charlotte, North Carolina, Monterrey, Mexico, northern New Jersey, northern Virginia, and San Antonio, Texas as possible places where they could move. [4] Within the same week, the Marlins started to shed payroll by dealing their highest-paid players for minor-league prospects, in a series of moves reminiscent of the "fire sale" in the 1997 offseason. On November 21, it was reported that Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell would be traded to the Red Sox for minor-league prospects shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Jesus Delgado. The deal was made official three nights later, and also included the Marlins sending Guillermo Mota to the Red Sox and receiving minor-league pitcher Harvey Garcia. The Beckett trade left the Marlins with just one member of their rotation on Opening Day in 2005, Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins will fill most of the remaining rotation spots with young pitchers such as Jason Vargas, Josh Johnson, and Scott Olsen, all of whom they had recalled from their Class AA affiliate during the 2005 season. [5]

On November 23, the Mets and the Marlins agreed on a deal to move Carlos Delgado to the Mets for first baseman Mike Jacobs and pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit. Also, the Marlins would have to pay $7 million of Delgado's remaining contract. When the deal was made official the next day, the Marlins also received minor-league infielder Grant Psomas. According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins passed up the Mets' offer to give them center fielder Lastings Milledge, who was at the time ranked the Mets' top prospect according to Baseball America. [6] Combined, the two trades allowed the Marlins to reduce their 2006 payroll by $27 million.

However, the Marlins still not yet done reducing payroll. Paul Lo Duca was traded to the Mets for two players to be named later; these players turned out to be pitcher Gabriel Hernandez and outfielder Dante Brinkley. Longtime second baseman Luis Castillo was traded to the Twins for pitchers Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler, and Juan Pierre went to the Cubs for pitchers Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto. Of the seven players that the Marlins acquired in these three deals, only Mitre and Bowyer had any major-league experience when they came to the Marlins.

On December 6, 2005, Marlins officials met with San Antonio city leaders, including Mayor Phil Hardberger, and various city councilmen, concerning relocating the franchise to San Antonio. Potential sites for a new stadium were toured, and San Antonio leaders discussed various proposals for funding and building a baseball only stadium. Marlins officials stated at a press conference that they were serious about negotiations to relocate the franchise.

2012 Season[]

Entering the 2012 season the Florida Marlins will be known as the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins signed former Padres closer Heath Bell, former White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. They traded for former Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano. Expectations were high entering the 2012 season.Their 1st game in the new stadium was 4/4/12 vs the St. Louis Cardinals in a game they lost 4-1. Unfortunately, this didn't work and they got 4th place (?) in the NL East. They then had a fire sale and traded everyone of value away.

Quick facts[]

Founded: 1993 (National League expansion)
Current Home Stadium: Miami Ball Park
Uniform colors: Black, Gray, Teal, and White; some Orange
Logo design: A rainbow "M" with a Marilin on the left jumping in the air.
Cable Television Network: FSN Florida is the Miami Marlins home TV channel. Sometimes, when the TB Rays play @ the same time, the Marlins get carried on SUN Sports. The FSN Florida slogan is "Get Hooked" (only for the Marlins).
Playoff appearances (2): 1997, 2003
World Series appearances (2): 1997, 2003
Official TV Stations: FSN Florida. Every Marlins game will be on FSN Florida or SUN Sports except for ones on FOX and ESPN
Official Radio Stations: WQAM (560)

Though the Marlins have never won a division title, they have also never lost a playoff series in their history (a perfect 6-0).

On November 22, after not being able to get a stadium deal in the city of Miami, it was announced that the team had the permission of MLB to explore relocation as an option if a retractable-roof stadium deal is not reached in south Florida.

Baseball Hall of Famers[]

Retired Number[]

  • 5 Carl Barger, team President who died just prior to start of first season

Current roster[]

Minor league affiliations[]

2021 Reorganization (Professional Development League)[]

Pop-culture References[]

  • In Back To The Future II, the "Miami Alligators" are said to lose to the Chicago Cubs in the 2015 World Series. Released in 1989, the film was four years prior to the Florida Marlins.

External links[]

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