Fish Take First Swings in New Ballpark

Marlins players hit BP inside stadium for first time

By Hank Tester and Brian Hamacher
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 8:09 AM EDT
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The Marlins are showing off their new ballpark -- or at least what's done so far.

The Marlins are showing off their new ballpark -- or at least what's done so far.

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Marlins players got to take their first swings inside their new ballpark Tuesday morning, taking a ceremonial batting practice in what will become their new Little Havana home in 2012.

There won't be grass on the field for months, but Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, John Buck and Logan Morrison were on hand as the first seat was installed in the $600 million, 37,000-seat stadium which is scheduled to be ready for opening day in April 2012.

Ramirez got to take the first cuts as construction workers shagged fly balls and players took in the scope of the stadium and commented about what kind of ball park it will be.

"Looks like a pitcher's park," Stanton joked, pointing out the need for fences, which have yet to be installed. "You can just imagine what it's gonna look like when it's finished, it's amazing."

The team said the first seat will be auctioned off for charity after the 2012 season. The players were also scheduled to serve lunch to the construction workers who've spent the past several months at the site.

Owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson were also in attendance as reporters were given a tour of the stadium and got a look at the progress of the construction from a field view.

The stadium is over 50 percent complete, with 85 percent of interior walls constructed. Work continues on the three retractable roof panels, and the main scoreboard video panels have been erected. Other display boards are being erected and by the time it opens, there'll be 46 throughout the stadium.

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