As a young franchise, the inaugural Florida Marlins team didn’t possess a lot of power. In 1993, the Marlins finished dead last in baseball with 94 home runs and had just one player hit more than 13.
The first home run in team history didn’t come until the seventh game. It came on this day 30 years ago.
Catcher Benito Santiago became the answer to a Marlins trivia question on April 12, 1993. His two-run shot tied the game at Candlestick Park in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Home runs in the second inning by San Francisco’s Barry Bonds and Mike Benjamin had accounted for all of the offense as the Marlins came to bat in the top of the sixth. After Chuck Carr and Bret Barberie grounded out off Trevor Wilson to begin the inning, Florida mounted a two-out rally.
Jeff Conine scored the game’s first run following a walk and an RBI double by Orestes Destrade. On the second pitch that Santiago saw from Wilson, he belted the lefty’s pitch about five rows into the left-field stands to knot the score, 3-3. It would serve as one of just four hits on the day for Florida.
Trevor Hoffman, a future legendary closer for the San Diego Padres, threw three innings of scoreless relief for the Marlins to get the game to extra innings. San Francisco’s Darren Lewis, however, would end the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning.
The Marlins fell to 2-5 on the young season in what would be their first-ever road game and first-ever extra-inning game. The contest also featured their first-ever home run. It came on this day three decades ago.