The Marlins have been looking forward to the move to their new stadium in Little Havana for years, but the team leaves Sun Life Stadium with plenty of fond memories.
Having spent their first 19 seasons at the Stadium Formerly Known as Joe Robbie, the Marlins have seen multiple World Series and no hitters at their first home. Here are ten of the most memorable Marlins games at Sun Life Stadium, in chronological order.
April 3, 1993: The Inaugural Game. The Marlins kicked off their history with a win, topping the LA Dodgers 6-3. Knuckleballer Charlie Hough's first pitch was called a strike even though it was well outside, but the crowd roared in approval anyway.
May 11, 1996: Al Leiter's no-hitter. The Marlins had never had a no-hitter in their brief history before Leiter shut down the Colorado Rockies. "I can't describe the way I feel right now," Leiter said after the game. "Later, I'll understand what I've accomplished, it's jubilation, relief and exhaustion."
October 12, 1997: Livan Hernandez' 15-strikeout day. Home plate umpire Eric Gregg's strike zone was as wide as the MacArthur Causeway that day, and Hernandez took advantage, striking out 15 Atlanta Braves in a 2-1 win that put the Marlins on the brink of their first World Series berth.
October 26, 1997: World Series Game 7. As if there could be any other game at the top of this list. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Fish tied up the game with a sac fly to send it to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th with Craig Counsell standing on third base, Edgar Renteria sent a single up the middle to end the series and send South Florida into euphoria.
June 16, 2003: Dontrelle Willis' one-hitter. The Legend of the D-Train was born on this night when he threw a complete-game one-hit shutout against the New York Mets. His performance was the lead highlight on SportsCenter that night, introducing the outside world to Florida's high-kicking rookie phenom who would go on to win the Rookie of the Year.
June 20, 2003: Miguel Cabrera's first game. Having been called up from double-A that day, rookie Miguel Cabrera introduced himself to Marlins fans with a two-run walkoff home run in the 11th inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first of 138 home runs for Cabrera in his five-year stint with the team.
October 4, 2003: Conine-to-Pudge ends the NLDS. For the first time in MLB history, a postseason series ended on a play at the plate. Having taken a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, the San Francisco Giants cut the Marlins lead to one in the top of the ninth. With two outs and the tying run at second base, Jeff Conine fielded a Jeffrey Hammonds single to left field and fired a dart to Ivan Rodriguez, who met JT Snow at home plate in a thunderous collision. Pudge held onto the ball, though, and the Marlins clinched a trip to their second NLCS.
October 22, 2003: Gonzalez goes yard against the Yankees. SS Alex Gonzalez was known more for his defensive wizardry than his hitting, but he was responsible for one of the most crucial home runs in team history, tying the 2003 World Series at 2 games apiece with his walkoff home run against the Yankees' Jeff Weaver in the 12th inning of Game 4.
August 10, 2005: Mike Lowell's hidden-ball trick. It is one of the hardest feats to pull off in baseball, but 3B Mike Lowell completely fooled Luis Terrero of the Arizona Diamond Backs when he held onto the ball after Tony Clark hit a single to move Terrero to third base (see video below).
September 6, 2006: Anibal Sanchez' no-hitter. Sanchez was pitching in just his 13th big-league game when he no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the 20th rookie in MLB history to throw a no-no, and he did it the day his third child was born.