Marlins Caravan for the Troops 2011
Every year the Florida Marlins organization engages in Caravan. The purpose of the Caravan is to not only promote the upcoming season, but also to get the community involved in a good cause. Last year’s Caravan for Earth, centered itself around promoting the “Go Green” movement. This year’s Marlins Caravan for the Troops 2011, was dedicated to both the New Marlins Ballpark and those serving in our armed forces.
The week-long celebration began Monday, February 14, with a visit to the Miami Beach U.S. Coast Guard Station. Marlins players, coaches, executives, Mermaids, Manatees and Billy the Marlin, participated in the day’s festivities. The group, led by Team President David Samson, arrived by boat, took a tour of the base and signed autographs for the troops.
Next on their list was a visit to the New Marlins Ballpark. On Tuesday, media was invited to witness the first seat installed in the ballpark, as well as the first batting practice. After batting practice, the players, led by All-Star Hanley Ramirez, served lunch to construction workers of the new ballpark. The day concluded with interviews from Marlins Executives Jeffrey Loria, David Samson and Larry Beinfest, as well as an update of the construction from Hunt/Moss engineers.
The group resumed the caravan on Thursday with a trip to the Homestead Air Reserve base. Once again Marlins players, coaches, executives, Mermaids, Manatees and Billy the Marlin participated in an autograph session with Airmen, a tour of the base and a 3-inning game of softball against the troops.
Friday was Soldiers Appreciation Day. The Marlins group honored the military personnel at the United States Southern Command in Doral. The day began with an official pregame ceremony followed by lunch, an autograph session and a game of wiffle ball.
The Caravan concluded on Saturday at the 16th Annual Jiffy Lube FanFest hosted by InterContinental Hotel Miami. The Marlins invited all their fans to Sun Life Stadium for a day of family-friendly activities and games. The event was free to the public and included activities such as autograph sessions with players and coaches, live performances from the Mermaids and Manatees and the opportunity to discuss the new ballpark with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Fans were also able to purchase single game tickets for the upcoming season, including Opening Night, Super Saturdays, Closing Day, and key series against the Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Angels, and more.
*Tickets can still be purchased at www.marlins.com and the stadium box office.