MIAMI, FL - MAY 21: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins reacts to hitting a grand slam during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on May 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Miami Marlins have a rich history for a team that has only been around since 1993. The team has undergone a number of changes and, along the way, won two amazing World Series against two great franchises. The Marlins have been at the top of the mountain and been the laughingstock of the league over the last 19 years, and all of it is encapsulated in highlights. When you are a fan, these little video clips can elicit such emotion that, for an outside observer, is irrational. But for the fan, it defines the word "fan," which of course is short for "fanatic." We are all fanatics for our teams, and it shows when we excitedly cheer for events that happened in the past. When I watch the highlights of our team's success, I still jump and shout here and there, as if I was once again wrapped up in the moment. Highlights are just another way for Marlins fans to enjoy the history of the Fish.
So let's take a trip down memory lane and look at highlights of our favorite team. We will look at the good moments, the best in Marlins history, so I hope that you all will enjoy these precious Marlins memories with me.
1997 World Series
In the Marlins' first four seasons in existence, they climbed the ladder from expansion team and basement dweller to competitive club. In their fifth season, they finally took the playoffs by storm, winning the Wild Card and advancing to the World Series. In what was an exciting and yet highly underrated World Series, the Marlins won in seven games, and the seventh game could not have gotten any more exciting. When it comes to pressure-packed situations, it did not get much bigger than the one Edgar Renteria faced in this play
I will freely admit that it was these playoffs and this moment that began my love affair for the Fish. I may have jumped on the bandwagon way back when, but I have not jumped off since. The Fish are now a big part of my life, and it was this highlight play that played a major role in getting me to one day blog about the Marlins on a daily basis.The Bartman Play
Flash forward to the next time the Marlins had an opportunity for a World Series. The team had rebuilt its roster by 2003 and was on the cusp of another World Series opportunity, but they had gotten behind the Chicago Cubs three games to two in their best-of-seven National League Championship Series. With the Marlins down 3-0, the series was seemingly over. I had agonized so badly about our team's plight that, in the seventh inning, I turned off my television, unable to watch my beloved Fish lose. But seemingly out of the blue, I could not stay away from my team and just had to watch in eighth inning. I turned my TV on right after this incident happened.
The infamous Bartman play that played a role in sparking what would end up being an eight-run Marlins eighth inning that turned the tide of the series around. From an almost impossible venture, the Marlins rallied to an almost improbable victory, and as much as it may sting Cubs fans, Steve Bartman did play a role in the Marlins' eventual 8-3 victory.
2003 World Series
Of course, the Marlins then made the World Series that season and faced the Evil Empire known as the New York Yankees. Of the four possible matchups in the World Series based on the league championship series on both the National and American League sides, this was the least interesting one to fans, but that did not mean that Marlins fans were not psyched and that this series did not have its share of exciting situations. For the Marlins, two highlights stand out more than anything else. One was during Game Four of the series, with Marlins down two to one in the best-of-seven. The game had gone into extra innings, and in the 12th inning, Gonzalez did this.
Gonzalez had had an awful World Series thus far, making him an unlikely hero. But his line drive had just enough gas to scrape the fence in the shortest part of Pro Player Stadium, and the Marlins took it and the game in 12 innings.
A few games later, the Fish had a 3-2 lead in the series and manager Jack McKeon went with ace Josh Beckett for the series victory in New York in Game Six. Beckett delivered by going the complete game and recording the final out of the 2003 World Series victory for the Florida Marlins.
This was the happiest moment for me as a fan, as I watched this team grow up in front of me. It felt so satisfying to see the Marlins succeed after years of struggling and rebuilding. No matter what happened afterwards with Josh Beckett and the Fish, I could never thank him enough for delivering in those playoffs and being a true ace for those games. He was amazing in 2003.
The Future of the Franchise
But that was the past, and we also need to recognize the future of the Marlins organization. After a myriad of changes, the new-look 2012 Miami Marlins debuted this season to much fanfare. The club had added three free agents in attempt to compete and debut their new stadium in style. But it was not the free agents nor the incumbents of the 2006 era of the Fish that were the best contributors to the team. No, the best player on the Marlins turned out to be an outfielder with an awesome and an even more awesome swing.
Giancarlo Stanton has usurped a number of Marlins to become the team's best player. He has simply been amazing this season, and while there are a number of highlights that could point out just how good he has been this year, there is no doubt which one belongs in this article. When you hit a ball so hard that you break property, you deserve to be on a "top highlights" list.
Here's hoping Giancarlo Stanton breaks many more things in Marlins Park for the Fish for the rest of his career. His future is bright, and it is sure to be filled with more highlights that should go along with the top Marlins' highlights in team history.