BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
If you’re a Baseball Historian, you’ll appreciate this story.
If you’re not a Baseball Junky, you’ll learn something.
Earlier this season, I wrote a column pertaining to the Baltimore/Miami Baseball connection when the Orioles played at Miami Stadium during Spring Training and had a Florida State League team as well.
Today, the focus shifts to the San Diego Padres.
From 1983-84, the Padres and Miami Marlins were connected in the Florida State League.
In 1983, three players went on to play MLB Baseball while another has been a coach.
Shortstop Paul Noce, Catcher Benito Santiago and Pitcher Gene Walter made it to the big leagues.
Second Baseman Brian Butterfield has coached for six MLB teams dating back to 1994 and is currently active at the age of 63.
The Manager of the Marlins was Jim Breazeale and he guided the club to a 44-89 record.
The biggest prospect of the group is without a doubt, Santiago.
Santiago was a five-time MLB All-Star and he is a member of the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
He played for the Padres from 1986-1992.
His next stop from 1993-1994 was with the Florida Marlins playing in Joe Robbie Stadium.
Santiago will always be part of a trivia question with the Florida Marlins as he hit the first home run in team history.
Santiago played in MLB Baseball from 1986-2005 for nine clubs and had a .263 average with 217 HR’s and 920 RBI.
He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1987 with the Padres.
In 1984, The Miami Marlins team was managed by Steve Smith and it finished with a 64-74 mark.
The big name prospect that came from this squad was Lance McCullers Sr.
He was nicknamed “Baby Goose” after former big league pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage.
McCullers played for the San Diego Padres from 1985-1988.
His additional stops were with the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.
The 1992 season was his last as he would conclude his MLB career with a 28-31 record, with a 3.25 ERA with 442 strikeouts.
His son Lance McCullers Jr. is currently pitching for the Houston Astros.
Where does the time go?
It’s been 37 years since I saw these two teams being connected.
Today at loanDepotPark there were a lot of interesting storylines in the Marlins 9-3 win over the Padres on Jewish Heritage Day.
The Marlins faced five-time All-Star Yu Darvish and they roughed up the Japanese hurler for four runs and five hits in five innings. He yielded a pair of home runs to Deven Marrero and Brian Anderson. Darvish had six strikeouts and one walk.
We saw Manny Machado hit his 17th homer of the season to center field.
Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. drew cheers from the crowd, but had a quiet afternoon with one walk, one stolen base and he stuck out twice.
Shortstop Marrero had a fine afternoon as he amassed three hits and six total bases.
There were a total of five home runs in this game.
The Marlins had three.
Marrero, Anderson and Lewis Brinson went deep for the fish.
Brian O’ Grady hit the Padres second round tripper of the game in the top of the ninth inning.
This turned out to be a bullpen day for Miami as the Marlins utilized seven pitchers.
Anthony Bender picked up the win and improved to 2-1.
With the MLB trade deadline on Friday, July 30, 2021, it appears that the crowd of 12,765 saw Starling Marte for the last time.
The Centerfielder didn’t disappoint as he collected three hits, one RBI, one walk and two stolen bases.
The Marlins split the four-game series with the Padres 2-2.
The Marlins improved their record to 43-57 while San Diego dropped to 58-44.
They’ll have Monday off then travel to face the Baltimore Orioles for two games on July 27-28.
Miami has another day off on Thursday July 29th before returning home for a three-game series vs the New York Yankees.
The Marlins travel to San Diego for a three game series August 9-11.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.
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