Miami Marlins

Dan Uggla goes from minors to two-time All-Star with the Marlins

Florida’s Dan Uggla takes a cut at the All-Star Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium on Monday, July 14, 2008.
Florida’s Dan Uggla takes a cut at the All-Star Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium on Monday, July 14, 2008. AP

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.

A few months after the Florida Marlins pulled second baseman Dan Uggla off the Rule V pile from the Diamondbacks, he was called into manager Joe Girardi’s office.

The rookie infielder didn’t know what the conversation would be about, but as Girardi recalled the conversation to reporters back in 2006, it ended in a hug.

After five years in Arizona’s minor league system, Uggla was going to the All-Star Game in his first big-league season.

“I'm elated,” Girardi said after giving Uggla the news. “If I could do cartwheels through the clubhouse, I would do that.”

Uggla fought his way onto the Florida roster that year and at the time of his selection was leading all rookies with a .307 average and 13 home runs with 44 RBI.

Not bad for a guy Arizona couldn’t find a spot for.

“I guess I've come a long way since last year,” he said. “I've just got to keep getting better now.”

The 2006 All-Star Game was played at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Uggla never made it into the game.

“I kind of figured it was going to be tough to get me in,” he said. “But I had a great time here.”

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Dan Uggla hits at Sun Life Stadium. Hector Gabino El Nuevo Herald staff

Florida teammate Miguel Cabrera was making his third appearance in an All-Star Game and made a defensive appearance but didn’t get up to the plate.

Two years later at the farewell to old Yankee Stadium, Uggla would get plenty of All-Star playing time.

Uggla entered the game in the sixth inning and played until its conclusion in the 15th.

Uggla entered the record book with three errors in the game and, to add insult to injury, struck out three times and hit into a double play.

Uggla also took part in the home run derby and ran into a vicious slump upon his return to the Marlins lineup.

“My heart goes out to that young man,” National League manager Clint Hurdle of the Rockies said afterward.

“He's such a good player. He's going to have big days, and there possibly could be another All-Star Game for him. He's going to do some big things, so he'll be all right.”

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Florida’s Dan Uggla is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in 2010. John Smierciak AP

According to the Miami Herald’s game story from that night, Uggla stood tall at his locker following the game ready to answer questions.

“I'm fine,” he said. “The only thing that [ticks] me off is we didn't win the game," Uggla said. "I was never down. You shake it off.

“There was no reason it happened. I put my glove down and didn't make the play. It seems like when it rains it pours, and it was that way for me. You don't try to justify it. My reputation is what it is. One game isn't going to change it. I know what kind of player I am.”

Uggla also took the whole experience in stride saying it was a trip he would not soon forget.

“It was awesome, a great experience, playing in this game in this stadium,” he said. “It's something I will never forget.”

Uggla spent two more seasons with the Marlins before the team traded him to Atlanta after failing to work out a long term deal.

The Marlins were offering Uggla a four-year deal and, after the trade, he signed a five-year pact with the Braves.

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Florida’s Dan Uggla singles against the Mets during the 2010 season at Sun Life Stadium in Mami Gardens. Joe Rimkus Jr. Miami Herald Staff

After a couple of good seasons in Atlanta — he was voted in to start his third All-Star appearance in 2012 and went 1 for 3 with an RBI — things went south and by 2014, Atlanta bought out the remainder of the contract.

Uggla caught on with the Giants after being released by the Braves and ended his big-league career in 2015 with the Nationals.

In five seasons with the Marlins, Uggla played in 776 games (eighth all-time) and ranks behind Luis Castillo in just about every offensive category for a second baseman in franchise history.

CELEBRATING THE MARLINS ALL-STARS

Sunday, June 18 — Gary Sheffield (1993, 1996)

Monday, June 19 — Jeff Conine (1994, 1995)

Wednesday, June 21 — Hanley Ramirez (2008, 2009, 2010)

Friday, June 23 — Mike Lowell (2002, 2003, 2004)

Monday, June 26 — Luis Castillo (2002, 2003, 2005)

Wednesday, June 28 — Charles Johnson (1997, 2001)

Thursday, June 29 — Kevin Brown (1996, 1997)

Friday, June 30 — Dan Uggla (2006, 2008)

Monday, July 3 — Josh Johnson (2009, 2010)

Thursday, July 6 — Dontrelle Willis (2003, 2005)

Friday, July 7 — Miguel Cabrera (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)

Sunday, July 9 — The All-Time Marlins All-Star team (1993-2017)

Home Run Derby Day, Monday, July 10 — Giancarlo Stanton (2012, 2014, 2015)

All-Star Tuesday, July 11 — Jose Fernandez (2013, 2016)

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