The first Miami Marlins game at the team's new home in Little Havana featured just about everything, from batting practice shots clanging off the centerfield home run display to the retractable roof closing 30 minutes before gametime as rain began to fall.
For the first time in team history, a little pregame rain did not ruin an evening.
Hanley Ramirez hit the team's first home run in the new stadium during the fourth inning, as the Marlins held on for a 7-6 win in an exhibition against the University of Miami baseball team.
"It's a good feeling," Ramirez said. "I can go home now with a good feeling."
Several Marlins hit long homers in batting practice, partially aided by swirling winds. A few even came close to the Red Grooms-designed centerfield display that has drawn some criticism.
"The ball was carrying during batting practice," Ramirez said. "The wind was blowing out -- a lot of wind -- but after they closed the roof it was totally different."
The team plans to keep the roof closed for most games, but wanted it open Tuesday night. Mother nature intervened, and it took only 13 minutes for the retractable roof to close.
Marlins left-fielder Logan Morrison showed up to the park at noon, well before anyone else on the team. Construction workers putting finishing touches on the project didn't realize he was a player.
"They wanted me to get a hard hat," Morrison said. "The fire marshal was giving me grief. I said, 'So am I going to have to wear a hard hat in left field tonight?'"
New acquisition Mark Buehrle made the start for the Marlins, tossing 3 innings and allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. He retired the first seven batters but allowed hits to the next four.
"Against minor league guys I don't fare too well," Buehrle said, "so I was kind of nervous facing college guys, thinking it was going to be even worse. Three runs is pretty good. I'll take that any day."
Reviews of the Marlins new clubhouse were positive. "Does it smell like rich mahogany in here to you?" Morrison asked. "It does to me."
"It's just as nice as -- if not nicer than -- any park in the league," said outfielder Aaron Rowand. "It's a state-of-the-art park."
The Marlins will play another exhibition Wednesday, against FIU, before resuming their Grapefruit League schedule. That will be the last game at Marlins Park before a pair of exhibitions against the New York Yankees on April 1 and 2. Those will be followed by Opening Day on April 4, against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida