PHOTO GALLERY: Marlins brought the whole gang back together for 25th anniversary

Just when things look dark for the Miami Marlins, something as simple as a teal clad weekend celebrating a 25 year anniversary to remember the good times in this franchise’s history brightened up the ballpark for three days.

Sure the Marlins lost the series against the San Diego Padres but the weekend was still a success for the rebuilding franchise. Bringing back the teal pinstripes for the weekend was well received by the fans and many on social media demanded for them to be brought back for good.

During the weekend, the Marlins offered upper deck tickets for $4, similar to the 1993 prices. That brought up the attendance numbers, which have been the lowest in all of baseball throughout the season. Both the uniforms and the ticket prices seem like successful strategies that should continue to be implemented for the remainder of the season.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter was asked about it on Friday and he said it was a topic he was “gaging on” and fan reception would be a factor.

The Marlins became a Major League franchise in the early 1990s and played their first season in 1993. A knuckleball from Charlie Hough to catcher Benito Santiago for a strike was the first pitch in Marlins history. The old battery mates came back to Miami to recreate that as the first pitch on Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

Along with Santiago and Hough, numerous Marlins alumni came back to celebrate 25 years of baseball in Miami. Among them were Juan Pierre, Charles Johnson, Charlie Hough, Benito Santiago, Preston Wilson, Cliff Floyd, Gaby Sanchez, Alex Fernandez, Todd Hollandsworth, Alex Gonzalez, Alex Arias, Kurt Abbott, Antonio Alfonseca, Orestes Destrade, Edgar Renteria, Livan Hernandez and Mike Jacobs.

Most of them were a part of two World Series winning teams. Five members of the 2000 Florida Marlins squad (Floyd, Wilson, Lowell, Kevin Millar and Ryan Dempster) are still teammates to this day but on MLB Network’s talent lineup.

One alum made a surprise visit to Marlins Park. Tommy Hutton, who has been a Marlins color commentator from 1997 to 2015, came back to introduce the alums and announced during the broadcast that he was returning to Fox Sports Florida as a pre-game and post-game analyst.

The Marlins also played an alumni softball game before Sunday’s series finale. The game basically became a home run derby.

Here are the best photos from the event:

The Marlins acquired Carl Pavano in a trade with the Montreal Expos in 2002 and he helped the team win the 2003 World Series against the New York Yankees by out-dueling Roger Clemens.

Orestes Destrade (39) played on the original 1993 Marlins team.

Livan Hernandez began his MLB career as a postseason hero for the Marlins in 1997.

The Marlins traded Mike Piazza to the Mets for Preston Wilson in 1998 saw a valuable power hitter for the next five seasons. Wilson also came back as a broadcaster from 2012-16.

Charles Johnson (center) won the World Series with the Marlins in 1997, while Juan Pierre (right) won it for the Fish in 2003.

Alex Gonzalez and Luis Castillo were the Marlins double play combo from 1998-2005, which is the longest tenured infield combo in franchise history.

 

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About: Tony Capobianco

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A graduate of the University of Arizona (2008-2013), Tony Capobianco covered sports from preps to pros since 2011 from the Tucson Citizen to Miami Herald to most recently with the Enid News & Eagle. The "Cuban Cowboy" took a first pitch to the nuts and lived to laugh at the viral video. Follow him @TonyCapobianco

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