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Sun Life Stadium / Land Shark S / Dolphin(s) S / Pro Player S / Joe Robbie S

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  • Sun Life Stadium / Land Shark S / Dolphin(s) S / Pro Player S / Joe Robbie S

    I've noticed one of the great things about this board is being able to post up pictures of old or current ballparks. As such, I have something of a "request", as I haven't been able to find anything by myself.

    Prior to 1993 when the Florida Marlins begun play, Joe Robbie Stadium (now Dolphin Stadium) hosted several pre-season exhibition games. I clearly remember two back in 1991 when Miami was in the running for an expansion team. It was the Orioles against the Yankees, and I clearly remember watching the game on TV back when I lived in Maryland. They actually had a capacity crowd of 65,000 or so for one of the games. I believe by that time they had made the stadium so that the left field stands retracted and the park had the normal dimensions it has today.

    However, I believe as far back as 1988 there were some exhibition games played at Joe Robbie, and for a while the left field stands didn't retract, setting up a L.A. Coliseum like situation.

    Now that I live in South Florida, I've been to Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphins Stadium multiple times for Marlins games. I'm curious, however, as to its set-up and color scheme for the exhibition games back in the late 1980s and early 1990s prior to the Marlins coming to town. So far I haven't found any pictures out there of it during this time. I was wondering per chance if anyone had access to any such pictures.

  • #2
    I checked Corbis and I couldn't find anything... Looks like there isn't much out there for these games.
    WAMCO!

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh well. Unfortunately the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun Sentinel don't have pictures in their archives; otherwise they would likely have some.

      Apparantly, before they added the retractable seats in left field, it was a cozy 272 feet down the line.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was able to make some scans of some old newspapers photos from the 1988 and 1991 exhibition games. I'll post them as soon as I can convert them to a postable format.

        Anyone know how to convert a .tiff file to a .jpg file?
        Last edited by PeteU; 10-10-2007, 07:56 AM.

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        • #5
          My scans of the Sunday day game on March 31, 1991 will be up on the Personal Picture Thread later today.
          Obladi, Oblada...

          July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
            My scans of the Sunday day game on March 31, 1991 will be up on the Personal Picture Thread later today.

            That would be terrific! I've been looking for those pictures forever.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PeteU View Post
              I was able to make some scans of some old newspapers photos from the 1988 and 1991 exhibition games. I'll post them as soon as I can convert them to a postable format.

              Anyone know how to convert a .tiff file to a .jpg file?
              Try opening the pictures with Microsoft Picture Manager. Then click "Export" from the File drop down box and then those the file type on the column that will appear on the right hand of the screen.

              That's what I had to do to make all my pictures fit with the parameters of the website. All the scanned photos were like 2-5 MB and I had to shrink them.

              Hope that helps.
              Obladi, Oblada...

              July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Joe Robbie Stadium (3.31.91 - Yankees vs. Orioles - Att: 57,359) Pictures 1-5 of 17

                Here we go with pictures from Easter Sunday, (March 31, 1991) at Joe Robbie Stadium and the exhibition game between the Yankees and Orioles. At first I though about placing it in the Personal Ballpark Photography Thread, but Dolphin Stadium will probably never have a thread on its own here, so I decided to place the pictures here instead. I attended both exhibition games.

                This day game drew 57,359 spectators. The Saturday night game drew 67,654, which remains a MLB Spring Training Record Crowd, and is actually, the largest baseball crowd ever at the facility (Game 6 of the 1997 World Series drew 67,498). The glorious Easter Sunday afternoon was completed by rain (what else in South Florida?) at the end of the game. Similar looking 55,000+ day game crowds (without any seat tarps ruining the visual) were also at the stadium for Opening Days in 2004 and 2005.

                I remember being excited about having “my own Veterans Stadium” in South Florida because it was huge. At the time I disliked any MLB stadium (except Royals Stadium) that seated less than 50K and NFL stadium that seated less than 70K. Was really disappointed that they were going to only have 44,000 seats with this “new thing” of covering seats up. Little did I know at the time that the trend was beginning to go to smaller stadiums nationwide and the covering up of really bad baseball seats in many places. Stadium set-up may look ugly to today’s eyes, but back then, this was the accepted norm and why cities with similar type stadium set-ups (the domes in Vancouver and New Orleans) were trying to get baseball teams also.

                When they held the 1988 Exhibition between the Dodgers and Orioles, the lower level seats had not yet been converted to retractable seats as of yet, and thus they used a LA Coliseum style net to hold in pop flies. I don’t know what the fence distances were at that game. This is sort of like during the 1980’s when Washington, D.C. was trying to get a MLB team and had a couple of Old Timer’s games at RFK. The puzzling thing is that they never bothered to remove the LF seats like was done from 1961-1971 and with the current National’s tenancy. They left the seats in place and had ridiculous short distances to left field, left center, and center field.

                Back on topic. Pictures that I took show a LF line of 335 feet and a RF line of 345 feet. I didn’t take any close up photos of center field, but it looks as though it was 410 feet. Current dimensions at Dolphin Stadium are 330 LF; 404 CF, and 345 RF.

                Also notice that there was of course no Bermuda Triangle at the stadium with the 434-foot cattycorner in 1991. That was added as a feature by the Marlins in 1993. Also, the baseball light stanchions in the respective endzones (to the left and right of each scoreboard) weren’t installed there yet. The Marlins also did some minor adjustments to the field level seating between first and third base.

                Gentleman throwing out the First Pitch was legendary University of Miami Baseball Coach Ron Fraser.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by sflnyc; 10-10-2007, 11:22 AM.
                Obladi, Oblada...

                July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Joe Robbie Stadium (3.31.91 - Yankees vs. Orioles - Att: 57,359) Pictures 6-10 of 17
                  Attached Files
                  Obladi, Oblada...

                  July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Joe Robbie Stadium (3.31.91 - Yankees vs. Orioles - Att: 57,359) Pictures 11-15 of 17

                    The Chicken (fka the San Diego Chicken) makes his presence felt at the game.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-10-2007, 11:06 AM.
                    Obladi, Oblada...

                    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Joe Robbie Stadium (3.31.91 - Yankees vs. Orioles - Att: 57,359) Pictures 16-17 of 17

                      Here comes the 4:00pm rain after the completion of the game...
                      Attached Files
                      Obladi, Oblada...

                      July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Those are some great pictures. I've been looking for pictures of the pre-Marlins exhibition games online for months and have found nothing.

                        The changes from then to now aren't too dramatic. The stadium looks a little newer back then, with a lot of the concrete not being painted. Fences were green instead of Marlins teal. There was no out of town scoreboard for the left field wall, of course. As you pointed out, there wasn't a Bermuda Triangle in center, and the light towers in right field and along the third base line had yet to be added.

                        One thing I did notice was there were no home plate box seats yet. They did have field box seats down the foul lines, although they aren't the same ones as they have now--the ones from back in 1991 cover all the areas of where the bullpens and right field picnic area are now--the bullpens were further down the line.

                        I also noticed the batter eye is smaller than it is now. (Although during the 2003 World Series they opened up the right section normally covered by the batters eye to squeeze more seating in.)

                        The crowds for the exhibition games both encourage me in that there does exist great potential for baseball in South Florida, but also sadden me knowing the toll years of bad ownership and the overwhelming sense of instability has had on the Marlins.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great pictures, I've always wanted to see pictures from that game. It almost looks unfinished because nothing inside is painted yet. I know when the Marlins first started playing they had the green outfield walls, and the hand operated out of town scoreboard. When did those come out?

                          Was that hefty bag thing in left field in play like the out of town scoreboard is now? It looks really temporary, and very orange. I wonder why they did eventually put in the Bermuda Triangle. Those sections down the lines are interesting. I think they look better than the bullpen setup they have now, but that's just weird having a 15 foot drop behind the plate.

                          I've always thought the right batters eye' section wasn't really needed, that the area directly behind the pitcher is the left side and the wall of the stands. Still, that kind of thing has been known to curse teams before (I'm thinking of the Chief Nocahoma teepee at Fulton County Stadium). I didn't notice it in 2003.

                          The whole place looks a lot better now than it did then, in my opinion. The new scoreboards look great, and there's a much more cohesive baseball setup, which would be expected since it's permanent now.

                          Were the club level seats different than they are now? Maybe it's just the picture but they look a lot more teal in those pictures, and they're blue now ("That's a blue seater!"). That place sure does look good full. The people in the stands in the rain delay pictures was bigger than some of the actual crowds we got this year.
                          1997 2003
                          Parks I've visited: 30 for 30, plus 5 closed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The stadium was totally finished (built in 1987) and nothing was out of the ordinary. They didn't decide to give the inside a multi-colored paint job until the mid 1990's.

                            Most stadiums are the basic concrete color inside. Very few, if any, do paint jobs internally as with Dolphin Stadium and as it's been that way for about a decade, you've just got used to it looking multi-colored.

                            Regarding the "hefty bag", you have to remember this was an exhibition Spring Training game in 1991 in an attempt to bring baseball to South Florida. There was no need to build an out of town scoreboard for a team that didn't exist and was no guarantee of being awarded. Baseball hadn't expanded since 1977 and the owner's weren't really interested in getting more teams. Plus, hefty bags or curtains were the accepted norm back in the 1970's-1980's to cover the unused football seats (Atlanta, Philadelphia, for example). The Marlins were awarded a franchise later in the year and started play in 1993. That's when they but all the baseball features in the stadium that you see now. The original Left Field scoreboard was all manually operated by the way.

                            Regarding the rain, there was no rain delay. The rain came after the game and the post game festivities so the fans you see there are departing the stadium, not their sitting through a rain delay.

                            Seat colors then are the same as they are no. Orange and a light Aqua. The Marlins announcers just call them "Blue Seaters" I guess in an attempt to combine the Aqua and Teal colors.

                            Glad you enjoyed the pictures.
                            Obladi, Oblada...

                            July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice pictures of J.R. Stadium there. I've noticed some differences since the Marlins moved in two years later: The teal "Monster" in this picture is now orange colored.

                              It's great to see the ballpark in baseball configuration BEFORE the Marlins ever moved in

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