Miami Marlins

Fans in left field do anything — well, almost — for a home run baseball

Alex Hache, left, holds the two balls he caught in the Home Run Derby as he stands next to Casey Torres who caught the first one hit out.
Alex Hache, left, holds the two balls he caught in the Home Run Derby as he stands next to Casey Torres who caught the first one hit out. grichards@miamiherald.com

Marlins Park already has a hopping nightclub beyond its left field walls in the Clevelander.

On Monday night, the area above it was a baseball-themed mosh pit.

With the Home Run Derby in full swing, fans packed the popular walkway in what used to be the east end zone of the Orange Bowl.

Security shut off access to the area an hour before the Derby started with only fans with tickets in those small sections allowed access.

Those who were already in the party zone next to the Budweiser Balcony got to stay — as long as they didn’t leave.

“We’re not going anywhere, we are sticking it out,” said Casey Torres, an Atlanta Braves-jersey wearing former South Floridian who caught the first home run off the bat of Minnesota’s Miguel Sano.

“We’re hot, sweaty and miserable. But, we have the bar right here, so it’s all good.”

Fans with seats in the four small sections above the Clevelander and the visiting dugout in left were treated to one moon shot after another.

A few dozen wore white wigs and black robes in solidarity with Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge. Some wore neon yellow T-shirts. Some came to fight.

Although there was some tension in the seating area, that was nothing like what was going on up above in the standing room areas.

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Fans gather beyond the left field fence at Marlins Park as the Home Run Derby kicks off. George Richards grichards@miamiherald.com

As fans packed in and around the Bud bar, elbows were thrown, beers were spilled and a few fans got bopped in the head from ricocheted shots off the bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.

“Don’t step on my shoes,” one fan implored. No one seemed to pay attention.

Danny Giordano, a transplant from Rochester, New York, caught a ball off the bat of Sanchez from his seats a few rows off the edge.

Sitting with his brother Davidde, Danny Giordano said he planned on catching more than one home run ball — hopefully one from Judge.

“Aaron Judge is taking it all the way,” Danny said after showing off his prize to the ESPN camera. “I told my brother we were both getting one of these. Easy.”

fan
Danny Giordano holds up the home run ball he caught and poses with his brother Davidde Giordano for the ESPN camera. George Richards grichards@miamiherald.com

Up around the bar, Torres had a little competition. Although he caught the first one, Alex Hache of Pembroke Pines caught two in the first few rounds — one from Sanchez and one from Stanton.

“I told my friends I was getting two and I did it in the first two rounds,” Hache said. “Now that Stanton only went one round, I’m glad I caught one of them.”

Torres, who went to the University of Georgia and is about to start law school at Mercer, said he was one of the first to get onto the Bud deck and wait things out.

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Fans stand near the Bud bar in the Marlins Park outfield during the Home Run Derby. George Richards grichards@miamiherald.com

It seemed to have paid off as he’ll go back to Atlanta with at least one souvenir.

“I always come back to Miami in the summer to see friends and family, and there was no way I was missing the Derby,” Torres said.

“We bought tickets anywhere we could but we were coming out here to left field. Being tall, when I saw Miguel Sano hit that ball, I knew I was getting above everyone.

“It’s still kind of euphoric.”

A capacity crowd fills Marlins Park for the home run derby on Mon., July 10, 2017.

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