There is a sports team in all 4 major categories in South Florida.Basketball has the Miami Heat, National Hockey League has the Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins in the National Football League, and the Florida Marlins are a part of Major League Baseball.
Since baseball season is upon us, I thought I would take a look at the Florida Marlins.The National League was the topic of debate in 1990, as the owners wanted to have two new expansion teams represent this league.The idea was to put one of these two expansion teams in the state of Florida.Orlando, Tampa Bay (who later got a team of their own), and Miami all were in a bidding war.In the end, it was a businessman by the name of Wayne Huizenga who won the bidding war and set up the team in Miami.An eye opening $95 million dollars later, and Huizenga has his team – it was June 1991.
The Florida Marlins took the field in 1993.It didn’t take the team too long to make an impact as this young team won the wild card spot and earned their first of two World Series championships in 1997- becoming the fastest expansion team at the time to win a championship.Remarkably, the Marlins came from the Wild Card position again in 2003 to capture the championship – setting another record again, by being the only two time champion in any of the 4 major American sports to win a championship coming from the wild card position.
It hasn’t always been a bed of roses for the team from South Florida.For instance, their inaugural season ranks among their worst on record.One of the league’s worst winning percentages was .395 – which the Marlins accomplished in their inaugural season, but that was better than their second year winning percentage as the Marlins managed a measly .333.Of course things did pick up in the winning column – as both their championship runs had percentages just above .500 with their 1997 season being their best, a .568 winning percentage.
Fan attendance has always been a problem for the Florida Marlins.Since 1998, the team from South Florida has ranked amongst MLB lowest in attendance.Not even giving the people in Miami a second MLB championship could put people in the stands, as in 2003 their attendance was 15th out of the 16 teams in the National League.A new home in 2012 is what the owners hope will draw people back to the ballpark.
There have been some well known ball players that came through the Marlins organization. In 1996, a young pitcher by the name of Kevin Brown finished in second place for the Cy Young award, which is given to the league’s best pitcher.Miguel Cabrera, now with the Detroit Tigers came in through the ranks of the Marlins farm system.Hitting 138 homeruns, he played five seasons with the Marlins.
After close to 20 years, the Marlins will be relocating in 2012.The Marlins have shared the same playing field as the Miami Dolphins of the NFL since they first came in the league in 1993.The site of the old Orange Bowl is where the Marlins will call home starting in the 2012 baseball season.The new stadium will hold an estimated 37,000 people, and to combat the hot summer days/nights in South Florida, will have a retractable roof, becoming the sixth stadium in MLB to have one.The Marlins will not only have a new home, but will have a new name.The new name of the organization will be the Miami Marlins, as part of the relocation agreement.
Whether they are the Florida or Miami Marlins, it will be great to see another World Championship come to South Florida.
Ervin Stansel lives in Ft. Lauderdale and has written for different website based travel companies.He has found great savings at West Palm Beach deals, a money saving website serving the local Miami/Ft. Lauderdale community.