Before the Braves moved to the ’burbs, Marlins Park served as the go-to example of shady local political dealings to use public funds to build a new ballpark for the supremely rich. On a related note, Jeff Loria and David Samson were involved in the process.
Now the club is, at least figureheadively, run by Derek Jeter. Though his background is decidedly different from previous Miami chiefs, he kept alive the club tradition of Fish gutting this offseason. That means that among the ballpark’s fixtures, the players still aren’t.
The stadium itself is a little different, with its Lisa Frank-inspired sculpture in centerfield and fish tanks behind home plate. A source of mockery by some, I consider it a nice change of pace from the run of retro parks. The atmosphere, however, is decidedly less than inspiring.
The park has been called Marlins Park since its opening, though that may simply be a placeholder until a willing corporate sugar daddy comes along. That’s not terribly good planning, though I suppose that’s par for the course in South Florida.
Name: Marlins Park 2012-present.
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Just the one, from its expansion season in 1993 through its relocation in 2012. However, that park had seven different names during the Marlins’ stay there (Joe Robbie Stadium, 1993-95; Pro Player Park 1996; Pro Player Stadium, 1996-2005; Dolphins Stadium 2005-06; Dolphin Stadium 2006-09; Land Shark Stadium 2009-10; Sun Life Stadium 2010-2011).
Distinctive Features: Architecturally, a whole lot of celebrating of Miami. The Marlinator, the multicolored home run sculpture beyond the centerfield wall that may not survive the current ownership group; two aquariums inside the backstop wall; bar/nightclub with pool as a nod to South Beach; bobblehead museum.
Muhammad Ali tossed out the first pitch before the park’s maiden game in 2012. The Fish lost to the defending World Series champion Cardinals 4-1.
Deep in the bowels of the stadium, Jeff Loria constructed a special “revenue stealing” box to place all his ill-gotten payments through Bolshevik Bud’s dirty scheme to cripple the game’s angelic New York franchise. (dammit YR, did you hack my account again?)
Wandy Rodriguez tossed six shutout innings to lead the Dominican Republic to a 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico to earn the top seed from Pool 2 in the 2012 World Baseball Classic.
Giancarlo Stanton hit two homers in a 7-1 victory over Atlanta, his 58th and 59th of the season in his MVP-winning campaign. He was quickly traded after the season to New York.
And now, for a TBtB first, photos. I was down in South Florida last week, and I ventured down to the park to take in the Mets-Fish game. Jarlin the Marlin threw six no-hit innings in a spot start for the hosts, but the Mets scored four in the eighth against the Miami bullpen to continue their hot start to 2018.
Clockwise from left: DJ Vertigo spins the tunes; Wil Myers as a Ghostbuster in the Bobblehead Museum; the glorious home run scultpure in center; the many empty seats.