Leading up to the midsummer classic, FishStripes is counting down our top 10 "hats-off" moments in Marlins All Star Game history. The Fish have 18 All Star Games under their belt, so clearly, with such a wealth of thrilling game moments to choose from, your opinion on the order and relevance of each moment may vary. Feel free to jump in on the comments and post your personal top ten, or simply rip ours to shreds.
Our #9 hats-off moment in Marlins All Star Game history came on July 12th at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, in what many baseball fans consider to be one of the best All Star Games ever played.
Just a 1 1/2 year-old team, the Marlins sent only one player to the midsummer classic--a player who would eventually come to be known and loved by South Florida as "Mr. Marlin."
It was Jeff Conine's fourth season in the Big Leagues and his second season as a Florida Marlin when he was named to the All Star Game for the first time in his career. Conine made it to the game as a reserve outfielder for the National League, and after raising his cap to the crowd when his name was announced over the PA system, Niner watched from the dugout as one of the most exciting games in the history of the ASG unfolded.
It was an intense, extra-innings come-from-behind victory for the National League, and Niner got to be there for all of it.
Granted, Jeff didn't actually play in the All Star Game in 1994. At all. But he was there. He was there standing in the dugout, clapping and high-fiving and providing a nice burst of fluorescent coloring to the bench. And here at FishStripes, we like to think that the mere presence of the future Mr. Marlin is what spurred the NL on to victory in '94, after a 6-year drought in which the AL had reigned supreme. That his bright teal cap was somehow providing the energy that fueled his teammates' bats and pitching arms as they topped the American League, 8-7, in extra innings.
Niner may not have driven in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th, or even had an at-bat, but to Fish fans, he was the MVP of the '94 All Star Game. (Or at least that's what we're telling ourselves for the purposes of this top ten list.)
Speaking of Niner...