Greg Tish, whom you can follow on Twitter @Greg_Tish is the newest member of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Jersey. He chronicled his time with the jersey and asked me to post this on his behalf:
The city of Miami and San Diego have much in common. Both are beach communities that have beautiful downtown areas and a plethora of things to do. San Diego’s weather is, in my opinion, the best in the country. Miami's weather is like most of Florida and drastically changing each moment. It can be sunny and beautiful one moment and - BOOM! - pouring rain the next, and sunny again the very next, and this all takes place within 30 minutes. The rain and the extreme heat are a couple of reasons why the Marlins play in the retractable roof stadium named Marlins Park.
Marlins Park is in the Little Havana neighborhood and sits on the footprint of the historic Orange Bowl, where some of the greatest football games in college and the NFL took place. I got to witness some amazing games in that stadium, which lived long past its lifetime. Marlins Park is there now and just screams Miami. It pretty much shoves it down your throat with the giant and unusual sculpture that sits in center field.
While many Padres fans may struggle with what colors to wear to Petco, the Marlins fans just struggle to make it to the park. This was my second visit to the stadium that had plenty of good seats available, and I mean plenty of good seats were available. The attendance was announced around 20,000 but there were probably close to 8,000 that were there on the Saturday night we attended during the debut of Players Weekend.
While I thought the SotTJ would garner some attention, I quickly realized that I was in Miami and they were used to loud and unusual “fashion statements” down there and the jersey didn’t really get many second glances as we walked to our seats in the wonderful comfort of the air conditioning. We had eight of us there that night. It was Joe from Detroit (Tigers Fan), Brian from DC (Red/Nats fan) and his sister’s family from Miami (all Marlins fans). We settled in our seats down the first base line. Joe, Brian, and I have birthdays that are close and each year we travel to a different baseball city for a nice “Boys Weekend” each year.
The Padres were wearing the bright yellow caps and that night that looked like a nod to the Navy’s Blue Angels. The jersey was blue with the same yellow on the sleeves and a yellow Padres logo on the front of the pullover jersey. I also donned the bright cap as did one other Padres fan right behind the dugout. Looking around the mostly empty stadium I maybe saw 10 Padres fans including seven or so there cheering for a family member that was on the Friar payroll.
Jabari Blash was on a hot streak as he entered the series with the Marlins and my friends and I were coming up with Blash puns the entire game. Blash-off, I wonder if he’s Blash-ful in public, Blash-splash, and so on. Beer was involved so some may not have been that funny, but for friends that have known each other over 30 years we were having a… Blash.
The bats were cold for the boys that night and going into the 9th inning the game was tied at one. The Padres had a good opportunity to go ahead in the 9th but our man Blash was called out on what looked to be a ball to end the frame. He didn’t sit down too quietly and let the umpire know it was a Blash shit call. Ok, that was really bad.
The Marlins started the bottom of the 11th off with a double and quickly bunted the runner over to third. Padres then stacked the infield with five players on the grass but the Marlins were able to get a deep ball out to score the game winning run. My greatest moment of the game was I went to grab a beer and the Marlins hit a HR while I was gone so I didn’t have to see the Fish sculpture come to life spraying water all over the place.
After the game we headed to the team store to find a patch for the jersey. I had thought long and hard about what I was going to add to the jersey. Should I add something from my home of Tallahassee? Should I add something Florida State? I decided to remain true to the jersey and added a patch from the Marlins. The girls in the gift shop loved the jersey and the story behind it and we found the perfect patch. It screamed Miami so I added the All Star game patch on the front of the jersey so it can scream at others if you ever get a chance to wear it.
The experience to have the jersey in Miami was very cool. Hell, just to have the jersey on was very cool! I would have liked a “W” that night but Blash-talk completely made it so much fun. It made the night so much fun that I ended up buying the jersey Blash wore that weekend for my collection of Padres jerseys.
Thanks to Greg for sharing his SotTJ adventure with us!