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November big month for Marlins

Florida MarlinsIt’s shaping up to be a big month for the Florida Marlins, as the team has announced some ballpark news and scheduled an event to unveil new unis and switch to the Miami Marlins.

At the ballpark yesterday, the team unveiled an official address — 501 Marlins Way — as well as three new streets surrounding the facility: Orange Bowl Way, Felo Ramirez Drive and Bobby Maduro Drive. The ballpark is built on the former Orange Bowl site, so no more explanation is needed. Felo Ramirez is the team’s Spanish-language broadcaster.

The decision to include Bobby Maduro in the proceedings is inspired; he’s one of the most important figures in Cuban baseball history. Born in Havana, Maduro was an early owner of the Florida International League’s Havana Cubans and originally owned the International league’s Havana Sugar Kings between 1954 and 1960. The Sugar Kings hosted a notorious pro baseball game on July 25, 1959, where soldiers celebrated the 26th of July Movement with gunfire from the stands, nicking Rochester Red Wings coach Frank Verdi and Havana shortstop Leo Cardenas. The Sugar Kings would end up winning the Little World Series that year, defeating the American Association’s Minneapolis Millers in a series that saw Havana players start a fire in a trashbin at the old Nicollet Park because of the cold temps. The following season MLB Commissioner Ford Frick ordered the Sugar Kings be moved to Jersey City after Castro nationalized Cuban industries. The team ended up as the IL’s Jacksonville Suns with Maduro as owner and GM, eventually landing in the MLB Commissioner’s office as an aide to Bowie Kuhn.

Miami Stadium was eventually renamed Bobby Maduro Stadium in his honor.

The team also announced a Nov. 11 event where the Miami Marlins name would be officially adopted, with logos and new uniforms unveiled. The event is not open to the public.


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