The Miami Marlins have been one of the most exciting baseball teams around since their creation as the Florida Marlins in 2003. While their small budget has largely restricted their success in the NL East with big-spending clubs like Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies usually leading the way, the Marlins have been able to strike gold whenever they get things right. The team has only made 2 playoff appearances in their two decades of existence, but both of those trips to October resulted in World Series championships! Such a feat must be commended and it makes Miami one of baseball’s emerging hotspots!
Organization for a baseball team in South Florida began in 1990, and by 1993 the team had begun play. As with most expansion teams, the early years were lean, but by 1996 the Marlins had established a strong pitching group, led by Al Leiter and Kevin Brown. Their hitting was bolstered by Gary Sheffield, and the team was getting competitive. In the off-season Jim Leyland was hired as manager and the 1997 team would become contenders in the National League.
Earning a postseason berth as a wildcard team, the Miami Marlins powered on to the World Series, where they defeated the Cleveland Indians in an exciting 7-game Series! In just 5 seasons, the Marlins had won a championship!
But after enduring heavy financial losses in order to build his team, owner Wayne Huizenga disassembled the roster, ridding players like Sheffield, Brown, Bobby Bonilla, and Charles Johnson. Naturally, the Marlins were terrible in 1998 and eventually Leyland resigned. Huizenga sold the team following the season.
Despite their departing superstars, the Marlins had an excellent scouting department and were able to keep the team marginally respectable into the new millennium. By 2003, it was clear that things were beginning to pick up again, and great pitching was once again at the heart of their resurgence.
In 2003, Florida got off to a terrible start, losing key pitchers to injuries and replacing their manager with Jack McKeon in May. But several great players made their MLB debuts for the Marlins that season, including Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. Additionally, solid players like Derek Lee, Josh Beckett, Luis Castillo, and Mark Redman helped the team earn another NL Wildcard spot in the MLB playoffs. Again roaring ahead, the Marlins reached the 2003 World Series where they faced the New York Yankees. Winning the title in 6 games, the Marlins again achieved the miraculous feat, stunning the baseball world!
Since then, the Marlins have been unable to reach the playoffs again, despite seeing wonderful players come and go through their ranks. In 2012 they moved to Marlins Park, their new and beautiful home. Despite a woeful 2013 season in the standings, the team witnessed the emergence of several prominent young players, including Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna. Once again, their pitching has turned a corner, which seems to be the theme for Marlins’ championship winning years… Perhaps another World Series title is not too far off with this developing team!
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