Miracle Over Miami: How the 2003 Marlins Shocked the World

Miracle Over Miami: How the 2003 Marlins Shocked the World (2004)

By Dan Schlossberg, Foreword by Dave Barry, With Kevin Baxter, With Jeff Conine

Nobody gave them a chance.   The experts said their manager was too old, their pitching was too young, and their ownership was too frugal to compete against experienced opponents with deeper pockets.  What rivals did not realize, however, was that the Florida Marlins were making the most of their march toward the Emerald City. Like the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, the team coupled heart and courage to survive what seemed like insurmountable obstacles, clinching the National League wild card with just two games left to play. In the playoffs, Florida again fooled the forecasters.

After spotting one and two-game leads against the Giants and Cubs, the Marlins battled back in both series to beat the odds and grab the second pennant in team history. Winning the World Series, especially against an experienced Yankees club whose payroll was more than three times the size of Florida’s, was just another David versus Goliath triumph for the Little Teal Machine. Bunt hits, speed on the bases, timely hitting, solid defense, and potent pitching proved to get the better of Goliath in the end.  

“Miracle Over Miami: How the 2003 Marlins Shocked the World” is the story of the most unlikely world championship in recent memory, a lesson in how to build a winning team with limited resources, how to plug holes with rookies and acquisitions, and how to win by having fun. Jeff Conine is the only man to play for both Florida world championship teams. In a rare inside-the-clubhouse look, he shares his thoughts on his teammates, compares the 1997 and 2003 teams, and describes what it was like to be member of a miraculous team. All the heroes are here: rabbits Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo, local heroes Mike Lowell and Pudge Rodriguez, rookies Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, flame-throwing pitchers Josh Beckett and Ugueth Urbina, and cigar-smoking manager Jack McKeon.

Fans are invited to once again come to the land of black-and-teal in “Miracle Over Miami,” where nothing is impossible and the Marlins rule the planet.