When the Miami Marlins joined the league in 1993, no one expected much from the new franchise. And nobody expected that it would take only four years for the Marlins to rack up their first Championship much less two in ten years with their second coming in 2003. Both times The Fightin’ Fish made the playoffs as a wildcard team.
In 1990, the CEO of Blockbuster Wayne Huizenga purchased 15% of the Miami Dolphins and 50% of Joe Robbie Stadium in order to actively pursue a Major League club. The franchise was awarded in 1991 and the team moved into the then Joe Robbie Stadium (Now Sun Life Stadium).
By 1997, new manager Jim Leyland put together a squad that included Bobby Bonilla, Edgar Renteria, Mosies Alou and Gary Sheffield. The Fish would meet the American League Champion Cleveland Indians and took the seven-game series 4 to 3. Directly after winning the championship, team owner Wayne Huizenga held what is now known as the “Fire Sale”. Manager Jim Leyland threatened to quit if Huizenga “sold the franchise” and said “My wife doesn’t like me that much. I can’t retire”. Leyland would end up resigning in 1998 saying “I thought it was my job to win championships, but that apparently wasn’t what Huizenga wanted.”
John Boles took his place as the 4th Manager (in 5-seasons) in Marlins history in 1998 and two months later the President of the club, Don Smiley resigns. Fourteen days later, the team was sold to John W. Henry and on March 1st of 1999, David Dombrowski was named the team’s third President and General Manager. Talks on a new stadium for the franchise begin to circulate as the teams looks to build a park downtown.
In 2000, the Marlins had their first ever #1 draft selection in the first-year player draft selecting 1B Adrian Gonzales, then a 16-year old phenom. After signing a contract extension taking him through the 2002 season, Manager Tony Boles is fired and replaced by Hall of Famer Tony Perez. Five months later, Perez resigns as manager and a month later, Dombrowski resigns as President and GM. Five months later the franchise is sold to Jeffrey Loria who names David Samson as team President, Larry Beinfest as the GM and Jeff Torbourg as the clubs Manager.
After beginning the 2003 season with a 16-22 record, Torburg was fired and replaced by Jack McKeon who would lead them to the 2003 World Series, the 100th version of the game. The Fish matched up against the New York Yankees. Miami had a strong bullpen with Andy Pettitte, Josh Beckett, Braden Looper and Brad Penny and would take the Yankees in 6 games to win their second World Series.
Jack McKeon resigned after a disappointing 2005 season and was replaced by Joe Girardi. During a game in the 2006 season, team owner Jeffrey Loria was heckling the home plate umpire. The umpire warned Manager Girardi to advise Loria to stop and both Girardi and his bench coach Gary Tuck went to Loria and told him to stop. Girardi was fired immediately after that game.
Ferdie Gonzalez replaced Girardi within hours of Girardi’s dismissal. Gonzalez would lead the Marlins to winning seasons in 2008 and 2009 despite having the lowest payroll in the Majors. That, however, wasn’t enough to keep his job and Gonzalez was fired on June 23, 2010 and was replaced with Edwin Rodriguez who manages the team to date.
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