MIAMI MARLINS INFORMATION:
Location: Miami, Florida
Stadium: Marlins Park
Conference: National League
Division: East Division
Rivals: New York Mets
Notable Players: Iván Rodríguez, Hanley Ramirez
Previous Names: Florida Marlins
Miami Marlins World Series Title: 2, last World Series title: 2003
Miami Marlins NL Championships: 2, last NL Championship: 2003
The Miami Marlins are one of the youngest teams in Major League Baseball, having only begun play in 1993. While teams like the Chicago Cubs have waited more than 100 years to win a World Series, the Marlins have won two in their short tenure using a series of shrewd front office moves, stacking their farm system with talent and finding the right managers at the right time. While they were known for much of their history as the Florida Marlins and shared a stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, 2012 marks the first year in a stadium of their own and signals the first time that they are truly Miami's professional baseball team.
Like most expansion teams, the Marlins had a tough time gaining relevance in the hotly-contested National League East, but after acquiring clutch veterans like Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou and Edgar Renteria, the Marlins managed to capture the NL Wild Card and sneak into the playoffs in 1997. The Marlins would get the jump on the San Francisco Giants in the National League Divisional Series and enjoy a heroic pitching performance in the NL Championship Series from Kevin Brown, who fought through a stomach ailment to get to the World Series. With the win, the Marlins were the first Wild Card team in MLB history to make it to the World Series, and they made the most of it by knocking off the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling 11-inning Game 7. In 1997, the Marlins became the fastest expansion team to ever win a championship title in professional baseball history.
After a few rebuilding years, the Marlins were once again in the playoff hunt in 2003 with a completely different roster. Built on team speed and stellar pitching, the Marlins cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs to set up a matchup against the dynastic New York Yankees in the 100th ever World Series. Although the Yankees were heavily favored, the pitching combo of Dontrelle Willis and Josh Beckett proved to be too much for the Yankees' batting order and the Marlins were triumphant in six games.
After nearly 20 years in the league, the Marlins have built a reputation as one of the most resilient franchises in the NL East with more than enough surprises up their sleeves. With a glittering new ballpark and a stacked roster, the Miami Marlins look to tip the balance of power in the NL East in their favor.
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