There Is A Sports Team In All 4 Major Categories In South Florida

 By: Ervin Stansel
All 4 major sports team are represented in South Florida. Basketball has the Miami Heat, National Hockey League has the Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins in the National Football League, and the Florida Marlins are a part of Major League Baseball.

Since baseball season is upon us, I thought I would take a look at the Florida Marlins. Back in 1990, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they wanted to add two new expansion teams in the National League. The concept was to put one of these two teams in the state of Florida - and there were three cities chomping at the bid to pick up the team. Orlando, Tampa Bay (who later got a team of their own), and Miami all were in a bidding war. In the end, it was a businessman by the name of Wayne Huizenga who won the bidding war and set up the team in Miami. An eye opening $95 million dollars later, and Huizenga has his team - it was June 1991.

In 1993, Major League Baseball welcomed the Florida Marlins to their family. It didn't take the team too long to make an impact as this young team won the wild card spot and earned their first of two World Series championships in 1997- becoming the fastest expansion team at the time to win a championship. Remarkably, the Marlins came from the Wild Card position again in 2003 to capture the championship - setting another record again, by being the only two time champion in any of the 4 major American sports to win a championship coming from the wild card position.

It hasn't always been a bed of roses for the team from South Florida. The first year the Marlins came into the league, ranks amongst the worst of their existence. That first season, the Marlins winning percentage was a meager .395 - among the worst in the Major Leagues, but just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, their sophomore winning percentage was worse - a .333. Of course things did pick up in the winning column - as both their championship runs had percentages just above .500 with their 1997 season being their best, a .568 winning percentage.

Getting people in the seats has always been a problem facing the Florida Marlins. Ranking among the lowest in attendance since 1998, the team from South Florida has risen to the top. Not even giving the people in Miami a second MLB championship could put people in the stands, as in 2003 their attendance was 15th out of the 16 teams in the National League. The owners of the team hope to change this up in 2012 when the Marlins begin that season in a new home.

There have been some well known ball players that came through the Marlins organization. The voting for the Cy Young award, given to the league's best pitcher was a tight battle in 1996, as a young Marlin, Kevin Brown finished second in the voting. Miguel Cabrera, now with the Detroit Tigers came in through the ranks of the Marlins farm system. He played five seasons with the 'fish' and hit 138 homeruns.

Like I stated earlier, a new home is awaiting the Marlins in 2012. The Marlins have shared the same playing field as the Miami Dolphins of the NFL since they first came in the league in 1993. Their new home will be at the same site where the legendary Orange Bowl called home for many years. The new stadium will hold an estimated 37,000 people, and to combat the hot summer days/nights in South Florida, will have a retractable roof, becoming the sixth stadium in MLB to have one. The Marlins will not only have a new home, but will have a new name. Miami Marlins will be the new name of the south Florida team.

Whether they are the Florida or Miami Marlins, it will be great to see another World Championship come to South Florida.
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