The Marlins will be represented at the All-Star Game for the 25th time on July 11 when the Midsummer Classic is played at Marlins Park in Little Havana.
Gary Sheffield and Bryan Harvey were part of the Marlins’ first All-Star Game at Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1993. In 2016, four Marlins (Marcell Ozuna, Jose Fernandez, Fernando Rodney and A.J. Ramos) were part of the All-Star Game in San Diego.
The Miami Herald will look back at the top All-Stars who represented the Marlins — from Sheffield to Giancarlo Stanton — starting Sunday and running through the All-Star Game on July 11.
Born in Puerto Rico before moving with his family to Miami as a youngster, Mike Lowell starred at Coral Gables High before moving onto FIU and eventually getting drafted by the New York Yankees.
In 1999, the Florida Marlins acquired Lowell in a trade with the Yankees, sending former St. Thomas Aquinas star Ed Yarnall, Mark Johnson and Todd Noel to New York.
Lowell couldn’t find his spot with the powerhouse Yankees — but he would with the Marlins.
“I’m happy for him,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said at the time. “He’s probably ready to play in the big leagues right now.”
Yes, the trade worked out pretty nicely for the Fish.
Lowell turned into one of the franchise’s most popular players and was part of the Marlins’ World Series run in 2003.
In 2002, Lowell was selected to his first of three consecutive All-Star Games while with the Marlins.
When informed of being selected as a reserve, Lowell immediately began working on getting tickets for his family and friends — more than 20 in all.
“My smile was from ear to ear,” Lowell said at the time.
At Milwaukee’s Miller Park, Lowell was part of a strange game in which both teams ran out of pitchers leading Commissioner Bud Selig to call the game in the 11th inning with the game tied at 7.
“It was very painful. I feel very badly about it, but I had no alternative,” Selig said afterward. “This is one of those rare situations where they legitimately ran out of players.”
Lowell, who made his All-Star debut earlier in the game, was standing at second in the bottom of the 11th when former Marlins catcher Benito Santiago struck out.
Selig, then owner of the Brewers as well as league commissioner, was taunted by the fans in his own ballpark with jeers of ‘Bud must go!’
“This will never happen again,” Selig said. That started MLB to award home field advantage in the World Series to the winning league from the All-Star exhibition — which ends at this year’s All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 11.
Lowell went 2 for 3 in his first All-Star game, scoring in the seventh inning.
The following summer at Chicago’s U.S Cellular Field, Lowell replaced Scott Rolen at third base and singled in his lone plate appearance and was one of three Marlins to play in the 2003 game (Dontrelle Willis and Luis Castillo).
Lowell made his third and final All-Star appearance with the Marlins (he represented the Red Sox in 2007) in Houston in 2004 as a defending World Champion as four members of the Marlins (Armando Benitez, Miguel Cabrera and Carl Pavano) all made the trip to Texas.
Florida’s Jack McKeon was also there, managing the National League squad.
Lowell’s run with his hometown team ended on Thanksgiving in 2005.
The Marlins, looking to shed salaries, made a blockbuster deal with the Red Sox.
Florida gave up 2003 World Series MVP Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota and Lowell and got back, among others, future star Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez (who tossed one of the franchise’s six no-hitters).
Lowell spent seven seasons with the Marlins, appearing in 981 games hitting 143 homers with 573 RBI.
Lowell spent five more seasons with Boston, winning MVP honors in the 2007 World Series. He is now an analyst with MLB Network and continues to reside in Coral Gables.
CELEBRATING THE MARLINS ALL-STARS
Friday, June 23 — Mike Lowell (2002, 2003, 2004)
Monday, June 26 — Luis Castillo (2002, 2003, 2005)
Wednesday, June 28 — Charles Johnson (1997, 2001)