Miami Marlins

Marlins All-Star Memories: Gary Sheffield gives Fish a spectacular debut

Florida Marlins third baseman Gary Sheffield
Florida Marlins third baseman Gary Sheffield Miami Herald file photo

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, three Marlins (Marcell Ozuna, Jose Fernandez 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.

Although Gary Sheffield wasn’t part of the Florida Marlins’ historic Opening Day at Joe Robbie Stadium, the slugger definitely made his mark on the franchise’s inaugural season.

Sheffield, acquired from San Diego in a blockbuster deal with the Padres on June 24, joined reliever Bryan Harvey as Florida’s first All-Star Game representatives at the 1993 All-Star Game at Orioles Park.

Although Cal Ripken Jr. was the featured star of his hometown event, it was Sheffield who provided the early fireworks.

Becoming the first expansion player ever voted in as a starter, Sheffield batted third in the lineup behind Montreal’s Moises Alou and San Francisco’s Barry Bonds.

“If I had still been in San Diego, this would not have been possible,” Sheffield said in 1993.

“Obviously, nobody goes to San Diego games. The Miami fans helped my case. The Marlins are drawing more than 41,000 fans a game, and I know they helped me.”

With one out. Bonds doubled off California Angels starter Mark Langston. Sheffield then, in the first at-bat by a Marlins player in All-Star history, sent a pitch over eventual game MVP Kirby Puckett’s head and into the left field seats for a 2-0 lead.

Sheffield was wearing specially made teal-and-black spikes which his peers made a little fun of.

“After that first at-bat,” he said, “they won't be laughing anymore.”

The National League’s lead wouldn’t last, however, as the American League rolled to a 9-3 win.

Sheffield went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored; Harvey came on in the eighth and struck out two.

Florida Marlins closer Bryan Harvey makes a delivery at Joe Robbie Stadium during the 1993 season. AP File photo

Aside from Alou, a number of future members of the Marlins appeared in the 1993 All-Star Game including Bobby Bonilla, Darren Daulton, Ivan Rodriguez and even Mike Piazza. Bonds was Miami’s batting coach last season.

The 1993 game was Sheffield’s second; he would play in a total of nine All-Star games and was voted in as the starting right fielder as a member of the Braves in 2003.

“When people think of Gary Sheffield, I want them to think of the Florida Marlins,” Sheffield said in 1993. “Winning the batting title is something I did last year. But being voted in is a respect the people are giving you. That says more than anything.”

In 1996, Sheffield made his second and final All-Star appearence as a member of the Marlins.

Sheffield didn’t have the success in Philadelphia that he found in Baltimore. Selected as a reserve, Sheffield went hitless in his lone plate appearence.

Kevin Brown and Al Leiter also appeared in the 1996 All-Star Game.


Sunday — Gary Sheffield (1993, 1996)

Monday — Jeff Conine (1994, 1995)

Wednesday — Hanley Ramirez (2008, 2009, 2010)

Friday — Mike Lowell (2002, 2003, 2004)

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The 2017 All-Star Game will be held at Marlins Park on July 11. George Richards @GeorgeRichards