Florida Marlins: All-Time Greatest Players, Part 9 of 10
The Florida Marlins have been around for 19 seasons, and in two postseason appearances, they have taken home two World Series titles.
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 beat the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves before 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. The Marlins posted losing records in each of the next five seasons.
In 2003, the Marlins returned to the postseason for the second time, again as the NL wild card. They again beat the San Fransisco Giants in the NLDS. The Chicago Cubs were five outs away from a World Series berth when the Marlins came back to win Games 6 and 7. The Marlins put away the New York Yankees in six games, again winning the World Series.
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 the Miami Marlins as they move into their new home at Miami Ballpark, let's 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.
Following are Nos. 10-6 (descending).
This list was compiled from data culled from www.baseball-reference.com.
10. Kevin Brown (1996-1997, WAR: 13.3)
Brown was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 1986 draft, winning his first major-league start and only appearance of the season. He was once selected to the All-Star team and accrued a 78-64 record over eight seasons with the club. He spent 1995 with the Baltimore Orioles and joined Florida as a free agent after the season.
Brown enjoyed All-Star selections in both of his Florida seasons. In 1996, he led the NL with a 1.89 ERA and a 0.944 WHIP, finishing second in the season-ending vote for the NL Cy Young award and posting a 17-11 record along the way.
On June 10, 1997, Brown came within a hit batter of a perfect game, blanking the San Francisco Giants 9-0 while striking out seven. He completed his Marlins career with a 33-19 record and a 2.30 ERA, striking out 364 batters in his 65 starts for the team.
Brown was dealt to the San Diego Padres in the aforementioned fire sale after the Marlins took home the world championship following the 1997 season. He later played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.
He currently serves as a baseball coach at Tattnall Square Academy.
9. Jeff Conine (1993-1997, 2003-2005, WAR: 14.9)
Conine, alternatively known as "Niner," "Mr. Marlin" and "Conine the Barbarian," was originally drafted in the 58th round of the 1987 amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals. He appeared in 37 games over two seasons, hitting .252 with 11 RBI. The Marlins picked him up with the 22nd pick of the expansion draft.
Conine appeared in all 162 games in his "official" rookie season with Florida. He hit .292 with 12 home runs and 79 RBI, finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
In each of his next two seasons with the Fish, Conine was an NL All-Star selectee, hitting a combined .310 with 43 home runs and 187 RBI. He was another casualty of the Huizenga-sponsored post-1997 exodus, rejoining the Royals via trade for minor leaguer Blaine Mull.
He later spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, rejoining the Marlins for three seasons starting in 2003.
In eight seasons with Florida, Conine hit 120 home runs and 553 RBI with a .290 average. He finished out his career by rejoining first the Orioles and then the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets and the Cincinnati Reds.
He currently works in the Marlins front office as an assistant to team president David Samson.
8. Dan Uggla (2006-2010, WAR: 15.4)
Uggla was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 11th round of the 2001 amateur draft. Florida acquired him in the Rule 5 draft after the 2005 season.
Uggla was selected to the All-Star team in his rookie season, also finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He hit .282 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI.
He would go on to hit at least 30 home runs over his next four seasons in Florida. He was again an All-Star in 2008, and he won his first Silver Slugger award in 2010.
The Atlanta Braves would trade Mike Dunn and Omar Infante to the Marlins for Uggla's services after the 2010 season.
He collected 154 home runs over his five Florida seasons and is the team's all-time leader in the category. He hit .263 with 465 RBI in 776 games.
7. Mike Lowell (1999-2005, WAR: 16.4)
The New York Yankees drafted Lowell in the 20th round of the 1995 draft. He appeared in eight games in 1998 before the Yanks traded him to Florida just prior to the 1999 season.
He was a three-time All-Star selectee while with the Fish, and he also received one Silver Slugger award and one Gold Glove award for his work at third base.
In 981 games over seven seasons with the Marlins, Lowell hit 143 home runs with 578 RBI, hitting .272.
Lowell was traded to the Boston Red Sox after the 2005 season and spent the next five seasons with the club before retiring in 2010.
6. Cliff Floyd (1997-2002, WAR: 16.8)
Floyd was chosen in the first round of the 1991 draft by the Montreal Expos. After four seasons, he was traded to the Marlins just prior to the 1997 season.
His best season with Florida was 2001, when he hit 31 home runs with career bests of 103 RBI and a .317 batting average.
He totalled 110 round-trippers and 409 RBI, hitting .294 in 637 games over six Florida seasons.
Floyd rejoined Montreal for 15 games in 2002 before joining the Boston Red Sox. He later also played for the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Diego Padres.
Floyd is currently a broadcaster with Fox Sports Florida.