So what do the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, and Miami Marlins have in common? If you said none of those teams have any retired numbers you are correct. Out of the 30 baseball clubs in the MLB, these 3 teams are the only ones who don’t have any player numbers retired. The Rays, Diamondbacks, and Nationals, all of who have been in the league shorter than the Marlins, Rockies, and Mariners all have retired numbers. (I do not count Jackie Robinson number being retired because all of baseball retired his number.) It just doesn’t make sense to me why these 3 teams don’t have retired numbers. It’s not like they haven’t had great players play for them. It’s also not like you have to be a Hall of Famer to have your number retired (Maris and Mattingly with the Yankees.) For your team to retire your number you just have to have had a great impact on your team. So today I’m going to give my opinion on which Marlins numbers should be retired. Here are my 3 suggestions:
Number 29 Satchel Paige
While Paige never played for the Florida Marlins, he actually played from 1956 to 1960 on the Triple A team based out of the Orange Bowl called the Miami Marlins. They were affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1956-1958 and the Baltimore Orioles from 1959-1960. From 1956-1957 Paige pitched for the Marlins to help out Bill Veeck’s struggling Minor League team. Over that span Paige had a record of 21-14, 155 S/O, an ERA of 1.86 in 1956, and an ERA of 2.42 in 1957. Nice numbers, but the reason we should retire his number is because on August 7, 1956 57,000 people came to see him play, the biggest crowd in Minor League history. This also proved that baseball can survive in Miami. Now I know he has never played for the MLB Miami Marlins, but that has never stopped the Nationals from retiring numbers of players that have never put on a Nationals jersey.
Number 7 Iván Rodríguez
July 14, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Florida Marlins former catcher Ivan Rodriguez waves a baseball to the crowd as he is honored during a ceremony before a game between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, Pudge only played for one season, but what a season. Before the season started he said we were going to make the playoffs. His play at the plate against the Giants in the Playoffs, his NLCS performance, and his leadership in the club house all helped his young team win its second World Series. Though the most important thing of all is his love for the fans and the love that we have for him. I went to the last game in Sun Life Stadium against the Nationals and when Pudge came up to bat the crowd started chanting his name. He called for time, stepped out of the batter box, and tipped his hat to the crowd. What class. It doesn’t stop there. After the game the Marlins had a big celebration with former players and current players and videos of the past. Pudge came out wearing a number 7 Marlins Jersey and said a few words to the crowd. What a great player. He might have been a Marlin for only one year but man did he make such a difference.
Number 18 or 19 Jeff Conine
I love Pudge and Satchel, but if anybody is going to have the honor of being the first Marlins player to have his number retired, it’s going to be Mr. Marlin himself Jeff Conine. Jeff might not have the numbers Pudge and Satchel have but when you think of the face of the Marlins Jeff is the person you think of. He was part of the 1993 Marlins, has an All-Star MVP award as a Marlin, was part of the 1997 World Series team, was part of the 2003 World Series team, retired as a Marlin, and was the first to hoist the World Series banners in Marlins Park. He is still with the organization and is a commentator for FSN. You cannot find one Marlins fan who has something bad to say about Mr. Marlin. He has been and will always be the face of this team and he deserves to be the first Marlin to have his number retired.
Now this is just my opinion. There are plenty of other Marlins who should get their numbers retired; such as Charlie Hough, Liván Hernández (when he retires), Jack McKeon, Gary Sheffield, and so much more. By retiring numbers the Marlins will show that they do have history and have had great players on their team. Beside, that new stadium would look good with some great players’ numbers around it.