Marlins fans have many “franchise firsts” committed to memory. Charlie Hough picked up the first win in 1993, Al Leiter threw the first no-hitter in 1996 and the club won their first World Series in 1997.
However, there’s no shame in the anniversary of this first sneaking up on you. On this day 20 years ago, the Marlins turned a triple play.
The contest between the Marlins and Montreal Expos was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third at Olympic Stadium on July 28, 2002 as the power-hitting Vladimir Guerrero came to the plate with two on and nobody out. With the count full, Guerrero—as he did so often—hit one hard off Julian Tavarez, but right at Florida third baseman Mike Lowell.
With the runners going, Lowell made the catch, tagged Brad Wilkerson who was running from second and flipped across the diamond to retire Jose Vidro, who was on the move from first. What looked like a potential big inning for Montreal had ended on a triple play, the first in Marlins history.
Unfortunately for Florida, that would be one of the few highlights as the Expos won the game, 4-1. After driving in the first run for Montreal in the second, Orlando Cabrera put the Expos ahead for good with an RBI double in the fourth. Vidro and Fernando Tatis would later hit solo home runs in the victory.
Florida’s only run came in the first on an errant throw from Wilkerson as Eric Owens stole third base. Owens had one of the two hits for the Marlins in the loss.
Despite losing the game and dropping the series against the Expos, the Marlins did leave Olympic Stadium with their first-ever triple play. It came on this day two decades ago.