The Florida Marlins won their season opener yesterday afternoon against the Washington Nationals. It was the first win as a Major League manager for the Marlin’s Cuban-American manager Fredi Gonzalez, and, in typical Cuban fashion, the whole canaya was there:
Family outing for Marlins’ new skipper
By Armando Salguero
WASHINGTON — It should never be forgotten that Opening Day is not all about getting a jump in the standings or unfurling big flags to the tune of big bands while military jets break the sound barrier in the cloudless sky.
No, Opening Day is really about celebrating the family by playing or watching a family game, and that is what the Marlins did in time-honored fashion in a timeworn ballpark Monday.
Even as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters filled RFK Stadium’s rickety stands and watched the Marlins pound the Nationals 9-2, Alex Gonzalez, all of 13 years old and still in middle school, sat in the Florida dugout the entire afternoon while his father and rookie manager, Fredi Gonzalez, won his major-league managerial debut.
While Gonzalez admitted to feeling ”anxious” his first time out as Florida’s manager, Alex was teased by some of the players in the dugout.
”[Backup catcher] Matt Treanor said I was so nervous I was turning green,” Alex said.
And during the game, in Section 308 behind the Marlins’ dugout, Caridad Gonzalez and Fredi Sr., the manager’s parents, watched intently as they always have, living and dying with every pitch that determines their son’s success or failure.
”This day makes all those years and all those sacrifices worth it,” Caridad said as the home crowd around her thinned out.
Fredi Sr. sat next to his wife wearing the same Erie Sailors cap his son gave him in 1992, when he managed the first game played in the Marlins organization.
”He doesn’t save anything as a memento,” Fredi Sr. said of his son. “He gives it to me and I keep everything. I haven’t thrown away any of his uniforms, shoes, or caps going back to high school. But I don’t do it for myself.
“I keep it for the family.”
Baseball has always been more than just a sport for me. As a child it meant spending time with my grandfather, whether we were in the stands watching Orioles spring games or in my grandparent’s living room watching the Big Red Machine. And that’s really the beauty of baseball if you think about it. Fathers and sons playin’ catch. Moms rooting for their at bat kid on Saturday’s Little League game. Grandpas taking their glove weilding grandsons to the ballpark to watch their heroes play.
Read Salguero’s entire baseball and Family article here.
A hearfelt congratulations to the Gonzalez family for their first win as Marlins managers and GO FISH!