The Miami Marlins have become one of the sporting world’s free punchlines. It’s very easy to laugh at the state of publicly-funded Marlins Park since it’s become the best place in South Florida to host archery practice 82 times a year. Most of the reason people laugh — and scorn — the Marlins is due to loathsome owner Jeffrey Loria as well as the team holding numerous firesales throughout its 20-year existence, which has yielded a pair of World Series wins.
That all said, the Miami Herald’s Chabeli Herrera did yeoman’s work this week profiling living, breathing Marlins superfans. Yes, they do indeed exist. They happen to own a lot of pins to prove it, too.
The bulk of the Herald piece focuses on Dori Amador, who fittingly enough wasn’t even a baseball fan until the new downtown stadium in Miami opened in 2012.
“I fell in love with the park,” she said. “We enjoyed ourselves so much that we went again and we never stopped going. It just became an obsession for us.”
The rest of the story mentions and 88-year-old woman who wears a black armband in protest of the off-season trades by the Marlins and a five-year old kid. So make of that what you will.
Despite the presence of dedicated superfans like Amador the Marlins are dead-last in attendance in the Major Leagues, averaging an announced 17,200 fans per game which is only 58-percent capacity at the park. A year ago Miami only played to barely 70-percent capacity. The team has played a little bit better lately, going 7-3 in their last 10 to up their overall mark to 27-50.
The important thing to remember here is that when we all mock the Marlins for their garish uniforms, dopey centerfield sculpture and terrible owner, deep down we’re huring people like Amador. You know, the real fans who are powerless in the face of Loria’s insidious ways of running a professional baseball team.
[Via Miami Herald]
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