The Florida Marlins – World Champions

Today is opening day here in Miami for our World Champion Florida Marlins. There is a sellout crowd of over 55,000 attending. Thousands of little kids are skipping school, tons of folks are calling in sick or taking vacation days to watch their favorite team start a new season. There will be many old folks, grandfathers, hand in hand with their grandkids at the stadium today, inevitably passing on the tradition that is baseball.

Last October, when the Marlins upset the baseball world by beating the almighty Yankees for the pennant, I posted a story I wrote back in 1997, when the Marlins won their first World Series. It’s about my grandfather and me and his unrelenting devotion to the game. That old man used his favorite sport to teach me about life. Baseball was his blackboard and wisdom was his chalk.

So today, while I listen to the game on the radio from the office, not only will I be proud to be a World Champion Marlins fan, but I will have my grandfather and his words with me, and I’ll feel like a kid again. I know he’ll be watching what would have been his favorite team take to the diamond. Gracias Primo, for passing on the love for life and the love for the game.

GO MARLINS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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UPDATE: I just got a call from my nephew Brandon saying that he’s got an extra ticket to today’s game. Says he wants to start learning about that life and baseball stuff. So look for us, we’ll be in the stands. I’ll be the one with the blackboard.

POST-GAME UPDATE: My nephew has posted his thoughts on the ballgame adventure. Boy, he sure is a smart one for being only a year old. He must take after his cool Uncle Val.

7 thoughts on “The Florida Marlins – World Champions”

  1. Whenever interleague play pits them against the Red Sox, I abandon them, but otherwise, as an adopted Floridian, they’re my adopted team, and I was just sooooooo happy to see them beat the Yankees. As much it pains me to say so, Boston could handle yet another year’s worth of World Series drought and last-minute heartbreak: it is ALWAYS more important that the Yankees get beat than that the Sox be the ones to do it.

  2. Victory! Florida 4–Montreal 3. As a bonus, however, we had our first Armando Benitez moment (gave up a homer and a double to “save” the game in the ninth; agh.) But a victory is a victory.

  3. I know things aren’t looking good for us this year, but my loyalty will always be to my beloved Atlanta Braves. I root for you Marlins as long as you’re not playing my Braves, though. And I always root for whoever is playing the Mets!

    Sounds like you have a good evening planned! I hope you and Brandon enjoy the game.

  4. When the Mets and the Yankees faced off in the “Subway Series,” there was a moment where I didn’t know who to be for (or rather, who to be against). But 1986, painful though the memories still are, was just one year; Boston’s hatred for the Yankees is eternal.

  5. It should have been the Cubs …

    Val Pietro went to see the World Champion Florida Marlins play their opening day game yesterday. While I hate that the Marlins beat the Cubbies to make it to the World Series, I have to give it to the Marlins…

  6. Cute kids and last year’s WS notwithstanding, please make sure your team enjoys those rings. The Marlins now have two. The Yankees have 26. Boston has…errr, let’s not go there.

    I hope everyone’s team has a great season. But, I’m fully expectant that my Yankees will be there at the end to break someone’s hearts.

    By the way, Val, if you ever get up this way, make sure to pay a visit to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, our minor league part that opened last season. The park is awesome, the play is good quality, Double-A level, and it’s a cozy evening of baseball, especially for families and kids.

    I think you tend to lose perpsective on the game in a park like Yankee Stadium and especially in a big stadium like Pro Player (you guys really need a real ballpark down there…). I don’t know if Scott’s ever been out to our new facility, but it’s just a great place. Make sure you hit it when you come this way. That goes for all you folks down south.

    I love baseball season.

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