Many of the most crucial pieces of the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins are reuniting at LoanDepot Park next weekend (May 13-15). Not just Craig Counsell—who manages the visiting Brewers—but more than a dozen of the players and coaches responsible for capturing the franchise’s first title 25 years ago.
Fish Stripes has learned that Kurt Abbott, Antonio Alfonseca, John Cangelosi, Jim Eisenreich, Alex Fernandez, Cliff Floyd, Charles Johnson and third base coach Rich Donnelly are all participating in the celebration. Craig Mish of SportsGrid and Billy Gil of the Dan Le Batard Show previously reported that Liván Hernández, Edgar Rentería, Gary Sheffield and manager Jim Leyland will all be there.
Last month, “Mr. Marlin” Jeff Conine gave everybody the heads up that he’ll be out of town that weekend while coaching the Florida International University baseball team. He made sure to stop by earlier this spring to hang the new banner acknowledging the team’s achievement.
As the Marlins disclosed earlier this week, the current team will wear a special commemorative 25th Anniversary patch on their hats for all three games. The first 8,000 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a World Series replica ring.
Another detail to report: on Sunday afternoon, the alumni will take the field for an exhibition softball game. Maybe they’ll allow slumping Avisaíl García to take a few hacks and get his confidence up considering how overmatched he’s looked against major league pitching so far this season.
Beyond Conine, prominent 1997 Marlins players who are seemingly not coming to LoanDepot Park include Moises Alou, Bobby Bonilla, Kevin Brown and Al Leiter.