Florida Marlins: All Time Greatest Players, Part Three of 10

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Florida Marlins: All Time Greatest Players, Part Three of 10
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

The Florida Marlins have been around for 19 seasons, and in two postseason appearances have taken home two World Series titles. Quite a return for such a fledgling club.

On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a Miami-based franchise to Wayne Huizenga. 

After four sub-.500 seasons, the Marlins advanced to the postseason for the first time in 1997 as the NL Wild Card. They took care of the NL West's best by beating the San Fransisco Giants, and then moved on to defeat the NL East by defeating the Atlanta Braves, before finally dispatching the Cleveland Indians in seven games to take home their first World Series Championship.

This was followed by a fire sale, with Huizenga unloading all of his high-priced talent—including such dignitaries as Mike Piazza, Kevin Brown, and Gary Sheffield. The Marlins posted losing records in each of the next five seasons.

But in 2003, the Marlins had reemerged as a genuine postseason contender, profiting from talented youngsters such as pitching ace Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis, the latter whom had rocketed into the national discussion after earning a call up from Triple-A in the summer.

It was only the second time the franchise had made the playoffs, and they did it again as the Wild Card.

They faced the Giants once more in the NLDS, with the same end result as '97.

The Chicago Cubs were up next—just five outs away from a World Series berth in Game Six, until Steve Bartman's ill-fated lunge for a stray foul ball interfered with Cubs right fielder Moises Alou, who could have recorded the second out in the eighth inning of what was then a 3-0 game.

The ensuing script became a nightmare for Cubs fans—the Marlins came back to win Game Six and took Game Seven as well. 

Then, the Marlins put away the New York Yankees in six games in the World Series on the backs of a superb series from ace Beckett, who earned series MVP honors after posting a complete-game shut out in the decisive Game Six.

In the eight seasons since, the Marlins have posted four winning records and four losing records, failing to return to the postseason. 

As the Marlins prepare to be rechristened as the Miami Marlins, and move into their new home at the sparkling Miami Ballpark, lets take a look back at the players who have stood out for the team. Of the 406 players who have laced up their cleats for the Marlins, these 50 stand out.

This list was compiled from data culled from www.baseball-reference.com, namely the "Wins Above Replacement" statistic.

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