MIAMI — The Marlins will be sporting reminders of their inaugural season when they take the field in 2018.
To honor the franchise’s 25th anniversary, the Marlins on Tuesday unveiled a commemorative logo that will be displayed on the uniform sleeves. The patch prominently features the organization’s original fish logo through the No. 25 over a teal background.
Assisting in the unveiling at Marlins Park was knuckleballer Charlie Hough, who defied time and at age 45 threw out the first pitch in franchise history.
Hough, the ace of the 1993 staff, is currently a special adviser with the Dodgers, but the Marlins still remain close to his heart.
Born in Honolulu, Hough grew up in Hialeah, Fla., and has been an honored guest on a number of occasions for the Marlins.
Along with Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter, Hough assisted in unveiling the silver anniversary logo. The guests at the park were Marlins season ticket holders since 1993.
“In ’93, this place was hopping for baseball,” Hough said. “Since then, the Marlins have had some great stretches. For Derek to do this, what can I say? I think it’s going to be good for Miami baseball.”
The anniversary logo will be prominent all season, and the Marlins will celebrate their inaugural season by wearing throwback jerseys during the June 8-10 weekend series against the Padres at Marlins Park. The Marlins will also offer $4 Vista Level tickets for all three games — the same price as an adult general admission ticket for Opening Day in 1993.
The Marlins have not worn their original uniforms since 2003. The white jerseys will have teal pinstripes.
“Being kind of a baseball nut, I think baseball is for the fans,” Hough said. “We play, and you can make a good living doing it. And it’s a ton of fun, but it’s for the fans. If we don’t connect with our fans, we’re going to lose them. I know they’ve gone through that here. But I think they’ve got a good group now that’s going to bring this franchise to where it should be. This is a great town, it’s a great sports town, obviously.”
Before the unveiling, Hough and Marlins radio voice Glenn Geffner held a nearly 30-minute Q&A session with the season ticket holders.
The Marlins played their first game on April 5, 1993, and Hough was victorious against the Dodgers.
“To get to pitch the first game in that ballpark, the first team to wear that Marlins uniform, and it was against my original team, the Dodgers that I signed with out of Hialeah,” Hough said. “And my first manager in the Rookie league at 18 years old was Tommy Lasorda on his way to the Hall of Fame. And he’s managing the Dodgers.
“His wife and my wife were very close. Tommy Lasorda’s wife was sitting with my wife at Joe Robbie Stadium during the game cheering for me, and Tommy has never forgot it.”
Not a day passes when Hough isn’t reminded of his six-inning start that launched Major League Baseball in South Florida.
“I get letters every day from Marlins fans and people who say they were at the first game,” Hough said. “I’ve probably gotten two million letters from people who say they were at the first game.
“To get to do that, as a veteran, old player, it doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t happen. I’ll never forget it. The fans here have been great to me, and the organization has been good to me. I’ve come back a couple of times to throw out the first ball on Opening Day. I did the opening groundbreaking for this stadium. Yeah, it’s been cool.”