Today's post is a 2-for-1! On this date in 1997 the Florida Marlins won their first World Series. I have two caps from that World Series, one being the primary black cap and the other being the old road/alternate cap. The '97 Marlins won the World Series in only their 5th season of existence, the fastest expansion franchise to do so, until Arizona won in 2001. The Series was capped off by a dramatic Game 7, in which the Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings.
1997 marked the fist time the trophy presentation was held on the field, rather than in the team's locker room. That practice is now standard, occurring every year since, with the exception of the 1999 New York Yankees.
Just five days after the Marlins won the World Series, most of their best players were traded. The decision to dismantle the team was not well received by fans, and the 1998 Marlins finished with the worst record of a defending champion ever.
The Marlins would return to glory in 2003, winning another World Series championship. In 2012 the Florida Marlins rebranded as the Miami Marlins, and opened a new ballpark.
The two caps I own feature the 1997 World Series patch. The black primary cap is an original New Era cap from 1997. It features a gray underbrim and the patch is applied slightly higher than what we are used to seeing today. The other cap is teal/black, which was not actually used in the World Series. This cap is a reproduction, part of New Era's World Series patch collection.
1997 was the first season the Marlins wore the black caps full time on the home and road. Previously the teal caps with black bills were used as the road caps.
Florida won the World Series wearing their iconic sleeveless jerseys with black undershirts. In my personal opinion, this was the best uniform the Marlins have ever worn. The uniforms had been changed quite a bit by the time they won the 2003 World Series, using very little teal. The scripts across the jerseys were predominantly black, and the black alternate jersey was worn for the majority of games, especially on the road.
The 2012 rebranding coincided with the loss of this beautiful color scheme. Teal had essentially been phased out anyway, but it died for good in 2012. The Miami Marlins rock black, orange, and silver, and technically red, yellow, green, and blue, too. The orange caps introduced in 2012 are some of my favorites in baseball, but those have disappeared. The Marlins sure have a knack for letting go of good things...
Thanks to Major League Baseball, the entire Game 7 of the 1997 World Series is available on YouTube. Enjoy!