It was someone else underneath the familiar face of Billy the Marlin.
But there was Marlins mascot on the field at Marlins Park engaging fans on Saturday morning as they took part in the team’s annual FanFest.
The Marlins confirmed reports that surfaced earlier this week that they had fired one of the employees who played Billy, whom a source confirmed was John DeCicco, who played the part for over a decade. The club did not give a reason for the firing.
A Marlins spokesman said Saturday they had multiple people play the part of the team’s mascot in the past and said one of those backups was in costume for the FanFest event.
The Marlins have said they do not intend to get rid of Billy, who has been the team’s lone mascot throughout its history.
The move was one of many changes the franchise has made under the direction of the new ownership group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.
In recent months the team has traded top players such as Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon and dismissed a number of front office members including former manager Jack McKeon, Tony Perez and Jeff Conine and several employees in different departments.