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Florida Marlins
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Florida Marlins

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

Founded: 1993 (National League expansion)
Home ballpark: Pro Player Stadium
Uniform colors: Black, Gray, Aqua, and White; some Orange
Logo design: Circle design with "FLORIDA" and "MARLINS" written around it; a marlin jumping through the circle and a baseball in the background.
Wild Card titles won (2): 1997, 2003
Division titles won (0): none
League pennants won (2): 1997, 2003
World Series championships won (2): 1997, 2003

Table of contents
1 Franchise history
2 Players of note
3 External link

Franchise history

1993-1996

On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a franchise to H. 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 earned run average (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

In 1997, the Florida Marlins led by new Manager Jim Leyland won the Wild-Card finishing 92-70. They swept the San Francisco Giants 3-0 in the Divisional Series, and then went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in the National League Championship Series.

The underdog Florida Marlins went to take on the Cleveland Indians and won the World Series 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. Livian Hernandez was named the MVP of the World Series in 1997.

Team owner H. Wayne Huizenga, claiming massive financial losses which would prove to be mostly false as he reported team and stadium earnings separately, dismantled the championship team in 1998, and Florida posted a 54-108 record that season. This angered fans, and Marlins home attendance plummeted.

Attendance in Miami continued to drop steadily over the next four years. In 2002, the Marlins drew a franchise low 813,111 fans to Pro Player Stadium and averaged just 10,038 per game.

1998-2002

Following the World Series victory, Huizenga 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. 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. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and Huizenga sold the club to businessman John Henry during the off-season.

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, Tony Perez was replaced by Jeff Torborg as the new Marlin's manager. Torborg put up a 79-83 record in his first season with the Marlins.

2003 season

In the offseason, the Marlins acquired 10-time Golden Glove winner Ivan Rodriguez 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 2003 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 Jeff Torborg with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. In that timespan, Florida was at its lowest point, with a major league worst record of 19-29.

Around the same time, Florida recalled the high-kicking rookie phenom Dontrelle Willis up from the AA minor league Carolina Mudcats, who carried the injury-plagued Marlins with a 9-1 record in his first 13 starts.

Miguel Cabrera (also from Carolina), Jeff Conine (from Baltimore) and Ugueth Urbina (from the Texas Rangers were all acquired mid-season as well to help the Marlins play-off push.

In 2003, 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 a 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 Ivan Rodriguez 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. It was the first postseason series ever to end with the potential tieing run being thrown out at the plate. On October 15, 2003, 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 the Beckett masterpiece 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. Starting pitcher Josh Beckett was named the Most Valuable Player for the World Series.

2003 offseason

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current stars

Not to be forgotten

Retired numbers

External link

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