Top Ten Moments in Marlins History

With a new chapter beginning at Marlins Park, here are ten great moments from the team's first 19 seasons

By David Hill
|  Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012  |  Updated 2:10 PM EDT
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Edgar Renteria of the Florida Marlins is carried by teammates Gary Sheffield and Livan Hernandez after winning Game 7of the 1997 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

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The Miami Marlins begin a new life with a new name at a new stadium today, but the team made plenty of great memories during its first 19 seasons as the Florida Marlins.

Here are ten of the most memorable moments in Marlins history so far, 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.

July 11, 1995: Jeff Conine wins All-Star Game MVP. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Conine led off with a pinch-hit home run off of Steve Ontiveros to give the National League a 3-2 lead that would become the final score. He was awarded the All-Star Game MVP for the home run, the only time a Marlin has won that award.

May 11, 1996: Al Leiter's no-hitter. Leiter threw the first no-hitter in Marlins history against the Colorado Rockies. Terry Pendleton and Charles Johnson homered for the Marlins, but Leiter was the star of the game, striking out six and allowing only two walks.

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.

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 14, 2003: The Bartman game. In Game 6 of the NLCS, the Marlins were five outs from elimination against the Chicago Cubs. Trailing 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning, Luis Castillo hit a foul ball into left field with a runner on second. A twentysomething Cubs fan named Steve Bartman inadvertently knocked the ball away before Cubs LF Moises Alou could get to it, keeping Castillo alive. You know what happened after that. The Marlins went on to score 8 runs that inning, winning Game 6 and Game 7 the next day to advance to the franchise's second World Series.

October 25, 2003: The lights go out at Yankee Stadium. The Marlins clinched their second World Series title behind a complete-game shutout from Josh Beckett. The Marlins could only muster two runs off of Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, but that was more than enough. Beckett was electric, striking out nine and not allowing a Yankee baserunner to even reach third base. He was named World Series MVP for his performance, giving up only 2 runs in 16 and 1/3 innings during the series.

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. 

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