Results tagged ‘ Andre Dawson ’

A Day at the Parade

It was hot – close to 100⁰. And not the nice, at-the-beach, light breeze hot. I’m talking about the heat-waves-radiating-off-the-asphalt-burning-your-skin kind of hot. It was crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder and knee-to-knee. It was loud with blow horns tooting, vendors screaming, and police sirens squealing. This was the scene last weekend as I went out for a walk in my neighborhood, Marlins Park neighborhood, to enjoy a local parade.

 I had been excited to see what a Three Kings Parade was all about since growing up I had never heard of, let alone celebrated a Three Kings holiday. But when I arrived I immediately became confused, scared, even flustered at the craziness going on around me. Like I said, it was hot, loud, and crowded…and I didn’t even know why!

Though it took an open mind, and a decent amount of time, I finally came to figure out what all the madness was about. My new community, the Marlins’ new community, extends the holiday season to come together and continue celebrating and rejoicing. I forced myself to talk to strangers on the street, asking them all kinds of questions about this cultural event. I observed interactions and children’s games. Most importantly, I watched the parade….TALK ABOUT A PARADE!! This is the first parade I’ve been to in which candy wasn’t thrown, but I still had a great time! The positive energy was simply radiating from all the participants through the crowds and into a scared and flustered newby like me! When the Three Kings passed me, I really didn’t think it could get much better than that. They let each and every person in the audience see and marvel at their treasure. But I was wrong…

 The parade continued to get better. It culminated with Grand Marshall Jose Fernandez. Ok, so I may be a bit partial, but listen to this! Imagine that 100⁰-off-the-asphalt heat, and imagine a grown man walking 13 blocks over the course of HOURS shaking hands, holding babies, and sharing hugs, with every single person in that shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. This man showed exactly how much he cares about all the people who cared enough about him to select him Grand Marshall. And if you were ever confused about the spirit of the season, watching his behavior and interactions during that parade would take away all confusion.
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  So here’s to you Jose, for showing an newby what Three Kings Day is all about, and for teaching an outsider what it means to be a part of this community.


 Since I’m filled with the holiday spirit after this reinvigorating weekend activity, I thought I’d share with you all a few more glimpes of what the Miami Marlins and Marlins Ayudan did to celebrate this holiday season.

 The Marlins adopted over 10 families for the holidays. The entire front office  contributed to purchasing and delivering gifts to needy families who otherwise would not have been able to celebrate. The familes were selected via the CBS4 Neighbors4Neighbors program and included familes from Miami Children’s Hospital and partner school Bunche Park Elementary.

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The Marlins partnered with Feeding South Florida and the City of Hialeah to distribute 2,000 meals to seniors during the holidays.
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The Marlins including Andre Dawson helped out a local food distribution at CAMACOL.

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Share with us – how did you spread joy during the holidays?

Hitting with Hawk and Cliff

Marlins Park may currently be set up for soccer and missing the infield, but that doesn’t mean we are shut down for business. RBI participants came out early Saturday morning to take part in an instructional baseball clinic highlighted by guest instructors Cliff Floyd (Marlins: 1997-2002) and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. The two former Marlins worked the kids out in both the home and visiting batting cages, working on front toss and various hitting drills emphasizing balance and bat speed. The clinic was not limited to the cages, had Marlins bullpen catcher Jeff Urguelles and RBI alumnus/ front office employee Danny Vargas worked with pitchers who had the opportunity to throw off the bullpen mounds. Finally, no clinic would be complete without an on-field defensive component, which the players received from another RBI graduate, George Barber.

This was not a day reserved for merely baseball; following the countless swings and throws, the participants made their way to the dugout club for a special presentation by Jose Correa and the “Play in College” program. It was great seeing the players engaged as they learned about all the opportunities and dollars available for them to continue their pursuit of higher education and playing the sport they love.

For many of these kids it was their first time ever stepping foot on a major league field and I was told by a parent that “surely this will be a day that they will not soon forget…” to which I replied, “They won’t forget it, and don’t call me Shirley.”


Special Olympics Play Ball

On November 5th, Marlins Ayudan Team Pulse led by Senior Vive President of Marketing Sean Flynn spent the afternoon helping the Special Olympics of Miami-Dade prepare for their next softball tournament. They played catch, fielded ground ball and pop ups, and even received instruction from Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. The excitement and joy in these athletes faces when they would make a great play or get a base hit during a scrimmage was priceless. Days like this truly capture the impact that a Major League baseball team can have on their community by sharing the gift of baseball. This is the second consecutive year this event has been held at Gulliver Prep and it has left a lasting impression on all who participate, both athletes and volunteers alike, including myself.

Making Memories

Upon introducing the new internship class of 2012, our President David Samson said, “This  internship is not strictly about baseball. This is a business…the business of making memories.” That one statement, not only left a valuable impression on how I perceive my everyday job but my viewpoint on all major league sports. In the entertainment industry, making memories is at the very core of every task carried out. It is the foundation of the Miami Marlins and now my very own mantra. Below is a picture of  All Star Player Andre Dawson with the future baseball players of America who were celebrating a tenth birthday they’ll never forget. This is one of my favorite pictures and captures the essence of  “memory making.”