Remembering 1991: A Team Is Born


In Marlin Maniac’s countdown of the top 150 Marlins moments, Andy Salgado wrote about the announcement of the Marlins receiving a team as moment #148. Having lived in South Florida at the time, I’ll always remember how excited the media were about the idea of a team in Miami.

As Andy mentioned, not much was known at the time, and the announcement of the nickname “Marlins” didn’t come until a little later. But when it did, Marlins Fever began. Being the obsessive person I am, I saved newspaper clippings of the team’s top moments for years (until I ran out of space, circa 2005). This newspaper is the one that is most special to me. It is from July 7, 1991, when the name Marlins was coined.

To the right is the cover of the special baseball section in the Miami Herald. In the top right, you can see that no one had any idea what the logo would look like, although the general idea isn’t too far off what would come to be. The uniform colors were assumed to be Dolphins colors, and although the teal was correct, orange never played a prominent role in the original uniform set. The Herald also accurately foreshadowed Joe Robbie Stadium being completely empty.

To the left, you can see the LOL-worthy subheading of “Marlins get top priority.” There’s a cool diagram showing how the stadium converted from football to baseball, as well as an article discussing the process. One quote from the article is “If you can’t make grass grow in Miami, you can’t make it grow anywhere.” The Marlins would have been wise to remember that quote in 2012 when they moved into their new stadium. In the fifth paragraph, Don Shula gives a ringing endorsement of the Dolphins sharing a stadium with the Marlins.

The newspaper also did some terrific prognosticating in regards to future players. The Herald staff put together a “South Florida Dream Team” on the back page of the section.

From that list, Lenny Harris, Andre Dawson, Alex Fernandez, Charlie Hough, Brian Drahman, and Rob Murphy all eventually played for the Marlins at some point, though Hough was the only one to appear with the team during its inaugural season.