Not only will the Miami Marlins and their fans celebrate the team’s first homestand of the 2017 season, they will honor the 1997 World Series team on the 20th anniversary of the accomplishment.
According to David Adler of MLB.com, former pitcher and World Series Most Valuable Player Award winner Livan Hernandez, catcher Charles Johnson and shortstop Edgar Renteria -- all members of the 1997 Marlins -- will take part in the ceremonial first pitch before Miami faces Atlanta at Marlins Park at the team announced Monday.
The current generation of Marlins will be honored, too -- Christian Yelich will receive his 2016 National League Silver Slugger Award, and Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Martin Prado and Edinson Volquez will be recognized for their participation in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Catcher JT Realmuto was named the National League’s Player of the Week for his performance in the first week of the 2017 season.
The World Series Championship came just four years into the team’s existence as an expansion team. The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship in both seasons they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997 and 2003 — both times as the National League wild card team. They defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, which was notable for shortstop Edgar Rentería driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the 11th inning of the seventh and deciding game. The 2003 season was notable for the firing of manager Jeff Torborg after 38 games. The Marlins were in last place in the NL East with a 16–22 record at the time. Torborg's successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, led them to the NL wild card berth in the postseason; they defeated the New York Yankees four games to two in the 2003 World Series.
The Marlins have not made the postseason since their World Series victory. The team has not had a winning record since 2009.