Top 25 Marlins Moments: #10-#6

Marlins Insider's Top 25 All-Time Most Significant Marlins Moments Continues with Moments #10-#6

#10 October 15, 2003
Florida Marlins Beat the Chicago Cubs 9-6 in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series Earning the Right to Face the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series
On this night the Florida Marlins capped a three game to two come back with a win over the Chicago Cubs to advance to 2003 World Series. Game 7 came on the heels of one of the most memorable moments in baseball history with the infamous Bartman incident of Game 6, but this game carried plenty of its own dramatics.

The Marlins jumped out to an early lead on the strength of rookie Miguel Cabrera's 3 run homerun which Juan Pierre and Pudge Rodriguez. The Cubs quickly tied the game in the second when pitcher Kerry Wood capped a 3-run inning with a two run homerun off Marlins starter Mark Redman. The Cubs then took a 5-3 lead in the third inning when former Marlin Moises Alou hit a two homer that also scored Sammy Sosa.

The Cubs held the lead for only one inning and after that they would never lead again after the Marlins broke out with a 3 run rally in the 5th inning which saw RBIs by Pudge Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, and Derrek Lee.

The Marlins expanded their lead in the 6th inning when Luis Castillo singled home Jeff Conine which took the lead to 7-5. Then in 7th inning SS Alex Gonzalez doubled to score Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine to take the score to 9-5. Cubs OF Troy O'Leary hit a solo shot in 7th to bring the final score to 9-6.

Marlins pitcher Brad Penny got the win for the Marlins after only one inning of work pitching a scoreless 4th inning. The real pitching star for the Marlins however was Josh Beckett who pitched 4 innings on only 2 days rest giving up only 1 run on 1 hit while striking out 3. Catcher Pudge Rodriguez was named the MVP of the Series after going 10 for 28 for a .357 average with 5 runs scored with 2 homeruns and 10 RBI.

The Series win gave the Marlins the right to face the yet to be determined American League Champion (the New York Yankees won the ALCS in 7 games) in their second World Series appearance in their ten years of existence.

#9 February 12, 2002
Major League Baseball Approves Transfer of Ownership from John Henry to Former Montreal Expos Owner Jeffrey Loria

Major League Baseball Ownership Committee approves an unprecedented three way sale that included the transfer of ownership of the Florida Marlins from John Henry Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria. The details of the deal included the agreement that Major League Baseball would purchase the Expos from Loria for $120 million and Loria would purchase the Marlins from Henry for $158.5 million.

The Marlins franchise had suffered through three years and two ownership groups that could do little to persuade the South Florida community to agree to build the Marlins a baseball only facility. Many fans had abandoned the Marlins after the 1997 championship team was ripped apart by former owner Wayne Huizenga and the subsequent owner John Henry's condescendingly transparent effort to restore fan confidence fell flat.

Despite the obstacles, the new ownership was confident that they could soothe over the tensions and create not only a winning team but one that the South Florida community would rally behind.

When the ownership transfer was made official on February 16, 2002, Loria enthusiastically announced that "Our goal is to return this organization to championship form." New team President David Samson added "What the Marlins are asking for is for the South Florida community to give them a chance, to give them a clean slate." He continued "They are asking for the community to forget past troubles and let the team earn the respect of community and to have them return to baseball."

When asked if he bought the Marlins merely to move them to another city Loria had this to say. "We bought the Marlins because we want to be here, because we believe the team and the community have a lot to offer each other. We are here to stay. We're fully committed to the Marlins, to South Florida and to the game,…. And our actions will prove that."

In only two years of ownership of the Marlins, Loria and his staff have been true to their word. They have aggressively marketed their team with respect to the diverse South Florida community, they resisted from making a fire sale based on their payroll by resigning several core players to long term deals, they have made aggressive moves to improve their team when they felt they had a chance to compete, and they have restored the respect and quality of the organization by delivering a World Series title.

#8 June 22, 2002
2B Luis Castillo's Team Record Hitting Streak of 35 Games
Castillo grabbed the attention of the baseball world in the summer of the 2002 season with his 35 game hitting streak. On this night the streak was snapped after a 0-4 night against the Detroit Tigers. While it was obvious that Castillo was upset about his streak coming to an end, after the game the South Florida fans and his teammates showed their respect and appreciation for the Marlins second baseman with a standing ovation and demanding a curtain call.

Castillo's streak, while falling far short of the Joe DiMaggio's record 56 game record, was still a record setting performance in many respects. Luis' streak was the longest streak ever by a non-American born player, it was also the longest streak ever by a second baseman, and the 10th longest streak ever in major league history.

#7 October 14, 1997
Florida Marlins Win Their First National League Title With a 7-4 Victory Over the Atlanta Braves to Take the Series 4-2
The Florida Marlins earned the right to play in their first ever World Series by beating the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 2 to win the National League Championship Series. In game 6 the Marlins never trailed in the game after scored 4 runs in the first inning. The Braves trimmed the lead to 4-3 after the 2nd but the Marlins scored another 3 runs in the 6th to put away the Braves. With the win, the Marlins went on to face the American League Champion Cleveland Indians.

Pitcher Livan Hernandez took the MVP honors for the series after taking 2 wins in two appearances. In the series he pitched 10.7 innings only giving up 1 run for a 0.87 ERA on 5 hits while striking out 16 and allowing only 2 walks.

#6 April 5, 1993
The Florida Marlins Take the Field For the First Time in History in Their Inaugural Game and Beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3
The long wait for major league baseball in Florida, which began in 1985 when the National League decided to expand by two teams, finally ended today when the Florida Marlins took the field to play their first ever official game.

The opening lineup for the Marlins was as follows; CF Scott Pose, 2B Bret Barberie, RF Junior Felix, 1B Orestes Destrade, 3B Dave Magadan, C Benito Santiago, LF Jeff Conine, SS Walt Weiss, and SP Charlie Hough.

Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio threw out the first pitch and the Marlins retired #5 in honor of former team President Carl Barger who passed away a few months prior. 42,334 witnessed Charlie Hough take the victory over the Dodgers Orel Hershiser. Jeff Conine, was the offensive star of the game going 4-4.

The Inaugural Game held many firsts for the Marlins organization; first hit Bret Barberie, first RBI Walt Weiss, first run scored Benito Santiago, first stolen base Jeff Conine, first win Charlie Hough, and first save Bryan Harvey. Although no Marlin hitter hit a homerun in the game, the first Marlin homerun came a week later when Benito Santiago belted the organization's first homerun in Candlestick Park off of pitcher Trevor Wilson of the San Francisco Giants.

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