Miami has three pro sports teams - the Marlins, the Dolphins, and the Heat. Both the Dolphins and Heat have won back-to-back championships (the Heat have three total) and the Dolphins' first of two Super Bowl wins capped off their perfect season in 1972.
The Marlins have never lost a playoff series in their 25 year history. In their two championship seasons of 1997 and 2003 they broke the hearts of long-suffering fans in Cleveland, Chicago, and New York. Since 2001 the Marlins have won exactly as many World Series titles as the Yankees - and more than the Dodgers, Mets, and Tigers. So there's that.
Giancarlo Stanton's 59 home runs in 2017 were the most of any non-Yankee who wasn't popping PEDs (allegedly). In his first official act as Marlins CEO, Derek Jeter (or some no-name who is actually running the team) virtually forced Stanton to waive his no-trade clause, declaring that the Fish would undergo another rebuilding phase with or without him.
To no one's surprise, Big Mike was traded to Jeter's old team - the Yankees. He's had some trouble adjusting to Yankee Stadium, with its smaller dimensions and thousands of fans.
The incomparable Ichiro Suzuki went the other way, signing with Miami in 2015 after leaving the Bronx. He recorded his 3,000th MLB hit in a Marlins uniform. (Question for all you Ichiro fans: do you think his HOF plaque will say Suzuki on it, or just "Ichiro"?) I rarely buy logoless cards, but I had to snatch up that Optic parallel when I saw it on COMC.
The late Jose Fernandez was a fan favorite in South Florida, particularly among the Cuban population. Attendance at Marlins Park spiked significantly for his starts. Shortly after his tragic death in 2016 the Marlins retired his number 16.
Two of the greatest catchers in recent memory squatted behind the Fish dish. Ivan Rodriguez played one year in South Florida; Mike Piazza played one week. I was at my friend Brandon's house when the blockbuster trade was announced. We were both puzzled.
Last year I wrote a post about my Trevor Williams PC. You can click here to read all about it if you're so inclined. I didn't want to copy myself here, but I thought it deserved a mention.
My best Marlins cards include a Fernandez manu-patch and a Luis Castillo real-patch that probably cost less than the logo relic. The Stanton Scouting Report was pulled from a retail box. The Yelich was an impulse buy on COMC ($3.25 or so) which was less than the Miggy black refractor (about $3.75). I do have a Cabrera Chrome RC - three actually - but they're all in sealed factory sets. Has Austin Dean made it to the show yet? (checking... nope)
As I've mentioned on this blog at pretty much every tour stop, I've officially rebooted my basketball card collection. During the playoffs I've been sorting each star base/insert card by team to see what holes I need to fill. If you have any spare basketball cards to trade, let me know!
My Heat collection could sure use a boost. I only have a dozen in my star player box. Nearly all of them are the "banana boat" boys, also known as The Heatles.
"Superintendent" sighting. The Chalmers and Mourning refractor are my only Heat inserts. I didn't even get any in my two boxes of 2015-16 Donruss.
Assorted base commons of note. Thanks to Pardon The Interruption I learned that Rony Seikaly is a Miami-area DJ and hosts a podcast. Some of the early Skybox backgrounds were a little wild for me, but these stripes really frame Glen Rice nicely. Harold Miner lived up to his "baby Jordan" nickname in one way at least. And I included Manute Bol just because.
About three weeks ago I received a surprise package in the mail from Dennis (TMV/TMM) who revived my dormant Dan Marino PC. I have about 40 Marino cards in my collection; the 1990 Pro Set and 1993 SP Marino issues are two of my all-time favorite football cards.
The Dolphins colors and team name appealed to me as a kid - because I liked dolphins. One I learned a bit about the game and discovered that Dan Marino threw the ball better than anybody, I became a fan.
My mom bought me this pennant at a state fair in either 1989 or 1990. At some point I wrote "Marino 13" at the bottom.
I don't have many Marino cards compared to my Brett Favre collection; it's more quality over quantity.
It seems like the lists of "Greatest Players Who Never Won a Championship" are topped with some of my all-time faves. Ted Williams in baseball (and Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tony Gwynn, etc..) Alex Ovechkin in hockey, and Dan Marino in football.
I was in Florida visiting my sister when Ricky Williams was traded to the Dolphins (I might have even saved the sports page from that day's newspaper.) McFarlane made a 12" figure of Ricky in the Dolphins orange alternate jersey. I liked it so much I paid $30 for it - but I can't remember what I did with it.
The rest of my decent Dolphins cards. My sister's husband told me he was going to play golf with Chris Chambers and asked if I wanted his autograph. It just so happened that I pulled a Chambers card out of a pack that day so I passed it on to Ron and got it back signed.
The Florida Panthers began their NHL existence in Miami but have since moved to Sunrise (where my sister used to live) The Panthers missed the playoffs by one win in their inaugural season of 1993-94 and reached the Stanley Cup finals in their third NHL season - which doesn't sound quite as impressive with the Vegas Golden Knights around.
I don't quite remember the 1993 Expansion draft, but I do remember thinking How are the Rangers going to choose between Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck? The Rangers made the right choice - but Beezer was fantastic for Florida in their early years.
If hockey players were identified with one team on their Hall of fame plaque, Roberto Luongo would be the first player inducted as a Florida Panther. Cats fans have seen some legends pass through including Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Igor Larionov, and these guys:
Can you imagine how much damage Jaromir Jagr and Pavel Bure would have done if they played together in Florida (or anywhere else?) I have an overabundance of Bure cards because I bought a flat rate box filled with Florida Panthers cards about eight years ago.
It seems like the Panthers always miss out on franchise players when they have a high draft pick. In between years where Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid were available, Florida selected Aaron Ekblad 1st overall in 2014. They traded down from first to third and selected Jay Bouwmeester in 2002, acquiring absolutely nothing in return.
Some more notable Panthers, including a Kevin Weekes RC and one of my favorite recent hockey cards - P.K. Subban posing as Jagr in the All-Star shootout. (I should have used that as a "favorite card of the year") I pulled an Olli Jokinen Letter Marks auto out of a pack of SP Game Used that UD sent me as either an NPN or a redemption replacement.
Sometime very soon (perhaps during my week off?) I'll find the time to write an entire post about my Peter Worrell PC. For now, here's a sampling of my collection, including a pair of 1/1 nameplates.
I've omitted the "cards I'd like to own" segment whenever a post runs long like this, but here's one card I definitely wish I had:
The guys at Sports Card Forum alerted me of this card when it hit eBay - but someone named Enforcersonly bought it for about $330. Too rich for my blood.
Favorite Marlins player: Justin Bour
Favorite Dolphins player: Jersey guy and Rutgers alum Leonte Carroo
Favorite Heat player: none yet
Favorite Panthers player: Aaron Ekblad or Roberto Luongo
Next tour stop: Milwaukee
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!