Thanks to a fundraising effort, the legacy of Miami Stadium is set to be recognized with a historical marker at its former site.
Opening in 1949, Miami Stadium–also known as Bobby Maduro Stadium–had a distinct history in spring training and Minor League Baseball that lasted decades. In spring training circles, the ballpark is best remembered as serving as the home of the Baltimore Orioles for 31 years beginning in 1959. Several minor clubs also took at the field at Miami Stadium, including the Class AAA International League’s Miami Marlins, the Miami Amigos of the Class AAA Inter-American League, and the Miami Orioles and Miami Marlins of the High-A Florida State League.
The ballpark stood for years after the departure of the Orioles, but was eventually demolished in 2001 to make way for the Miami Stadium Apartments. A crowdfunding effort had been underway to create a plaque dedicated to the ballpark’s history, and there is good news to report on that front. Several willing donors came forward to support the initiative, allowing the fundraising goal to met within a quick time period. More from the Miami New Times:
Abel Sanchez, a die-hard Miami Stadium fan, set up a crowdfunding campaign in May to help erect the historical marker. When New Times reported about his effort June 22, the campaign quickly met its goal in just five days thanks to a handful of contributions from readers. Two of the largest donations came from Rolando Llanes, the Miami architect who executive-produced White Elephant, a documentary about the stadium; and Centennial Management Corp., which owns and manages Miami Stadium Apartments.
Sanchez is happy local baseball fans have stepped up to the plate to honor an important part of Miami’s history.
“Amazing news!” Sanchez says. “I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to this campaign than to have Centennial Management come through to help us finalize our goal. I’m truly touched and humbled by how quickly all this came together, along with the support, kind words, and donations from within our community from Mr. Rolando Llanes of Civica on down.”
There are still some steps needed to complete the marker’s installation–including reviews by the State of Florida’s Division of Historical Resources–but the marker could be put into place at the end of this year. Of the minor league clubs that occupied Miami Stadium, it was the Florida State League franchise that had the longest stay, playing at Miami Stadium from 1962-1988. Today, that club is known as the Fort Myers Miracle.
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