Florida Marlins 25th Anniversary Retrospective: The 1996 Season

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Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT
Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT /
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Thanks for coming back to take another look at a classic baseball season in South Florida. The 1996 Florida Marlins had their ups and downs. Breakout performances happened as well as franchise firsts and improvements toward the 1997 campaign. Check out our last retrospective HERE.

1996 Miami Marlins Offseason

The off season saw the re-signing of The Hawk, Andre Dawson (Though he only appeared in 42 games). Management stayed the same with Rene Lachemann returning to start the season as the teams skipper. Other minor transactions were made to help the Florida Marlins improve their record and chances at a playoff berth.

OPENING DAY 1996

Rene Lachemann was back to manage the ballclub in 1996. The season opened for the 96 Florida Marlins at Joe Robbie stadium as they hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates for a three game set. The opening day lineup saw some similarities from the 1995 opening day squad.

Kevin Brown made his debut in a Marlins uniform this opening day, He would go on to have success in two seasons with the Florida Marlins. He threw seven innings of one run ball but they fell to the Pirates on opening day.

Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT
Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT /

SEASON LEADERS

1996 Offensive season leaders included Gary Sheffield leading the way in home runs (42), batting average (.314) and RBIs (120). The 42 home runs would set a Florida / Miami Marlins season record that wouldn’t be touched until a player named Giancarlo Stanton came along. Jeff Conine paced the team in hits (175) and strike outs (121).

Opening Day started Kevin Brown along with Al Leiter would pace the team wins with 17 and 16 respectively. Kevin Brown’s season 1.89 ERA led all pitchers and closer Robb Nen had a close second ERA of 1.95 as he saved 35 games on the season.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

1996 was a year of great improvement for the Fish. They improved their season record to just south of .500 going 80-82. The Florida Marlins overall team ERA was 3.95 (3rd best NL) led by Brown and Leiter.

Backstop Charles Johnson was excellent behind the dish. He was successful in throwing out an MLB high 48% of runners who attempted a steal. He collected a Gold Glove award due to his is .995 fielding percentage.

(Photo By Eliot Schechter/Getty Images)
(Photo By Eliot Schechter/Getty Images) /

About midway thru the season, inaugural Marlins Manager Rene Lachemann was replaced. Cookie Rojas came in to manage a single game, and was replaced by John Boles for the remaining 75 games of the season.

Al Leiter made Marlins history as he threw the first no-hitter for the franchise on May 11th. He completed the no-hitter in 2:22 throwing 103 pitches. He walked two batters and struck out six, shutting down the Colorado Rockies. 

More from Marlins History

A couple new comers would make their Marlins debuts in 1996. They would go on to make major impacts during this and future seasons. Edgar Renteria was called up in May to replace the injured Kurt Abbott. He would be a future World Series hero for our Marlins. Speedster Luis Castillo would make his Marlins debut this season as well. He had 17 stolen bases and would stay with the club through both World Championship seasons.

1994 BY THE NUMBERS

  • Record 80 – 82
  • Third Place NL East
  • Annual Attendance 1,746,767
  • Runs Scored 688, Runs Allowed 703
  • All Star Game Representative: Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Gary Sheffield
  • No Hitters: 1 – Al Leiter May 11, 1996

Next: Miami Marlins 1994-95 seasons

Thanks for reading and stay on the look out for the 1997 season retrospective as we look back at the Marlins first World Series Championship season! Remember to Like us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up date on all things Marlins.

Statistical information via www.baseball-reference.com

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