As Miami Marlins fans know, this marks the 25th anniversary of the MLB franchise in South Florida. It has been nothing short of an eventful 25 years. Fans have had the extreme highs of two World Series victories and the extreme lows of seemingly endless fire sales.
There have also been a number of middle-of-the-road seasons. As a die hard fan I feel this is a great time to look back on the history of the franchise. This will begin a series of articles that will take a look at each individual season. We’ll start with the Inaugural year in 1993 and then lead up to the Marlins current campaign. I hope to bring back some great memories of seasons past.
The original Marlins squad was owned by South Florida businessman Wayne Huizenga. He was also the founder of other notable companies including Blockbuster Video and Waste Management.
The 1993 Marlins debuted with a popular teal and black color scheme. Their logo was a capital F, for Florida wrapped with a teal Marlin. These logos and colors still resonate today as fans are clamoring for a return to the teal and black. They may yet get their wish since Derek Jeter and company took over the franchise.
Renovations were made to Joe Robbie Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins, to accommodate Major League Baseball contests. This became the home stadium of the Florida Marlins until Marlins Park opened in 2012.
The Marlins started their inaugural season on April 5th, 1993. The Los Angeles Dodgers were visitors to the Marlins in their first regular season game at Joe Robbie Stadium.
Rene Lachemann was tasked as the first manager for the Marlins. He came from the Mariners as well as the Brewers systems and brought with him some managerial experience, though not exactly success. He was fired from both clubs before taking on the Marlins.
Opening Day Lineup
1 – Scott Pose – CF
2 – Bret Barberie – 2B
3- Junior Felix – RF
4 – Orestes Destrade – 1B
5 – Dave Magadan – 3B
6 – Benito Santiago – C
7 – Jeff Conine – LF
8 – Walt Weiss – SS
9 – Charlie Hough – P
Notable opening day players for the Marlins include Benito Santiago, Jeff Conine, Walt Weiss and Charlie Hough. Hough was a veteran Knuckleball thrower who brought some experience to the lineup. He had the honor of throwing out the first pitch in Marlins history, a generously called strike one to open the season.
Conine would go on to have the longest tenure with the Marlins and would earn the nickname Mr. Marlin for his contributions to the franchise.
He served as a player on both World Series teams and, up until the latest ownership change, he was a special adviser to the owner. No matter what, Conine will always be a fan favorite.
Opening Day – April 5th 1993
The first game in franchise history was played in front of a sellout crowd of 42,334. It was a local 2:12pm start time and lasted for a duration of 2 hrs and 43 minutes. The Marlins picked up their first historic victory by defeating Orel Hershiser and the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3.
That opening day Dodger squad featured legends Darryl Strawberry, Brett Butler and Mike Piazza. Piazza would have a (very) brief stint with the Marlins later in his career. Other Dodgers that game were also future Marlins alums. Tim Wallach (current Marlins bench coach) and Lenny Harris (player and former coach) have both been representatives on the Marlins in some capacity.
The first ever Florida Marlins regular season home run came off of the bat of Santiago on April 12th versus the San Franciso Giants. He would hit 13 total that year. Conine was the HR leader this season with 24 long balls.
The Marlins did not find a lot of success in the inaugural season going 64-98 and finishing 6th in the National League. They did make a mid-season splash by acquiring All-Star Gary Sheffield via trade. He would be the first representative from the Marlins to play on the National League All Star Team. He would play with the Marlins through the end of the 1997 campaign and was a victim of the first dreaded fire sale.
The Marlins went into the off-season on a sour note, losing six straight. Still a few years away from success, the ownership and players looked at ways to improve the squad during the off-season.
- Record 64-98
- 6th Place in National League
- Season Attendance : 3,064,827
- Runs Scored 581, Runs Allowed 724
Stay tuned for more coverage of the history of our Miami Marlins! Next we will take a look at the shortened 94 and 95 seasons.
Statistic Information via www.baseball-reference.com
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