The Marlins entered 2018 with a stripped-down roster and no delusions of making the postseason, but have still played out the string with refreshing enthusiasm and swagger. Following a July 24 win over the Braves, they introduced the JDF16 MVP of the Game chain as a token of their fun-loving philosophy.
Infielder Miguel Rojas was involved in commissioning the piece:
Starting something new today, #JDF16MVPOfTheGameChain . Today belong to Starlin putting that game away with the 3-run homer. Thank you @RafaelloandCo for making this happen. pic.twitter.com/VhucLVjmlX— Miguel Rojas (@MRojasOfficial) July 24, 2018
(Totally unrelated, but what’s your beef with us, Miggy?!)
So was Cameron Maybin. A 2017 World Series champion with the Astros, Maybin tells Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald that he liked how the veterans on that roster reinforced the importance of teamwork:
“We sometimes worry too much about individual stats or ‘what did I do?’ I just wanted to take a moment on a young club and go around the locker room for a second and talk about what we had to sacrifice to win as a team.”
“It’s the MVP player of the game,” Starlin Castro explained after accepting the honor. “Every day, whoever is the hero is going to wear the chain” (h/t Joe Frisaro, MLB.com).
Brad Ziegler is trying to incentivize winning in a clubhouse full of rookies. He wants to “get young guys to appreciate plays that may not have earned a sit-down” with regional television partner FOX Sports Florida, but contributed to the W nonetheless.
Whereas the world-famous “Turnover Chain” used by the 2017 Miami Hurricanes football team was customized locally by AJ’s Jewelry, the Marlins went to Rafaello and Co. for this special order. The New York-based brand executed the concept to perfection, including this inscription:
“R.I.P. Jose Fernandez
Forever a Miami Marlin”
“Jose was an MVP everyday when he wasn’t pitching,” Rojas tweeted, “and he is still with us in that club house.”
See below for an updated leaderboard of chain recipients and pics of them posing with it.
JDF16 MVP of the Game Chain Leaderboard
|José Ureña||2||7/29, 8/19|
J.T. Realmuto was the intended recipient of the July 28 chain and gets credited for that in the leaderboard, but Bryan Holaday wears it well!
Holaday later earned his own one, too: