Today will mark the end of an era for the Florida Marlins.
At some point today, Jeff Conine’s name will be announced for the last time as a player in Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin Stadium. If you haven’t heard already, Niner announced that he will retire at the end of this season.
He is the only player to have played for the inaugural team and the two World Series Championship teams. In his seven years (1993-97 and 2003-05) Conine hit .290 with 120 home runs and 553 RBIs. Statistically, his name appears in the top-10 of many career lists including batting average (5th), games (2nd), at bats (3rd), runs (3rd), Hits (2nd), total bases (2nd), doubles (4th), triples (7th), home runs (5th), RBI (2nd), and singles (2nd). He was even named the MVP of the 1995 All-Star game, wearing that great teal hat (photo on right).
When he comes to bat today (and hopefully, he will) Marlins fans should stand up and give the loudest and longest ovation ever seen at a home game. With all do respect to other Marlins “legends” (Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, and Mike Lowell) no player meant more to this franchise. He helped build this franchise we all love so much and was there to guide it through the early years and through its two championships.
There will always be only one Mr. Marlin. Now batting, Jeff Conine.