Miami Marlins

Missing baseball on should-be Opening Day? Watch these five classic Marlins games to cope

MLB knows you’re missing Opening Day. All across the league’s digital platforms Thursday, MLB will be streaming classic games featuring all 30 teams. The Miami Marlins’ classic isn’t altogether surprising: World Series, Game 6, 2013; Josh Beckett dominates the New York Yankees to give the then-Florida Marlins their improbable second championship.

If you have seen this one too many times or are jonesing for some other Miami classics, fear not. MLB has five classic Marlins games available on its official MLB Vault YouTube channel you can use to cope with an Opening Day with no baseball.

Florida Marlins 2, New York Yankees 0; Oct. 25, 2003: World Series Game 6

There’s a reason MLB is choosing this one as its Marlins classic to publicize to everyone: It’s a classic and it’s the most recent game on the list, so it’s the one most people have nostalgia for.

Florida was a massive underdog to the Yankees, who won 101 games, but Beckett dominated throughout the World Series, capping it with a gem in the clinching game. The starting pitcher needed just 107 pitches to go the distance, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out nine.

This was only the second time in history the Marlins made the postseason and it was the second time they hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy. Florida — now Miami — has not been to the playoffs since.

Florida Marlins 9, Chicago Cubs 6; Oct. 15, 2003: National League Championship Series Game 7

The Marlins were on the brink of elimination for days against the Cubs. Chicago charged out to a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series. Florida responded by winning three consecutive elimination games, including the decisive Game 7.

The most famous game of the comeback is Game 6 — better known as the Steve Bartman game. Game 7 was just as thrilling, though. The Marlins jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning at Wrigley Field before the Cubs battled back to take a two-run lead heading into the fifth inning. Florida scored six runs in the next three innings in Chicago to rally once again and reach the World Series for the second time in franchise history.

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This also set the stage for Beckett’s World Series heroics. He fires four innings of relief to keep the Marlins’ late-inning lead intact.

Florida Marlins 7, San Francisco Giants 6; Oct. 4, 2003: National League Division Series Game 4

Florida nearly unraveled midway through its first series on the way to the 2003 World Series. The Marlins jumped out to a four-run lead on the San Francisco Giants with a chance to win the National League Division Series in Miami Gardens before the Giants broke off a four-run sixth inning to tie the game in Florida. It took until the eighth inning for the Marlins to jump back ahead.

The decisive blow came off the bat of 20-year-old Miguel Cabrera, who ripped a two-out single to right field to bring home catcher Ivan Rodriguez and first baseman Derrek Lee.

While Florida didn’t have its back against the wall like it did in the NLCS, it’s still a thrilling game in the middle of the last great Marlins run.

Florida Marlins 3, Cleveland Indians 2; Oct. 26, 1997 (F/11): World Series Game 7

The most iconic moment in Florida history doubles as one of the great moments in World Series history.

With two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning of a winner-takes-all Game 7, shortstop Edgar Renteria slapped a single up the middle, and infielder Craig Counsell scored from third. In their fourth season of existence, the Marlins won the World Series for the first time.

The game was thrilling even before the extra-inning, walk-off heroics. Florida didn’t score until the seventh inning and spent most of the game trailing by two after the Cleveland Indians scored twice in the third. A leadoff home run by slugging third baseman Bobby Bonilla finally got the Marlins on the board in the seventh, then Counsell forced extras with a sacrifice fly in the ninth to bring home outfielder Moises Alou.

Florida Marlins 6, Los Angeles Dodgers 3; April 5, 1993: The first game

This is where it all began. Florida debuted as an expansion team at Joe Robbie Stadium — now Hard Rock Stadium — and took down the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Joe DiMaggio threw out the first pitch, a knuckleballer was on the mound, Chris Berman was on the call for ESPN and the Marlins jumped on Dodgers starting pitcher Orel Hershiser in the third inning to win.

It was a non-stop celebration in South Florida on this day back in 1993 — Opening Day in the truest sense.

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