Photo of the home run sculpture at Marlins Park. Home of the Miami Marlins.

Image Credit: Dan Lundberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

When Marlins Park (home of the Miami Marlins) first opened in 2012, baseball fans were irked by the colorful home run sculpture in left center field. The colorful sculpture is nicknamed “Homer” and was designed by Red Grooms, a New York City artist. However, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has been critical of the 73-foot prop since taking over the reigns of the Miami Marlins. The Miami Marlins front office have now collectively decided to move the sculpture to the exterior of Marlins Park.

The Miami Marlins will convert the area to a standing room only section; a trend many Major League Ballparks have adopted. Why did the Miami Marlins add the quirky home run sculpture to begin with? Former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was an art dealer and asked Red Grooms to contribute to the stadium. After each home run hit by a Miami Marlins player, the mechanically-operated sculpture would display marlins flipping through the air and shoot water. After the sculpture is moved outdoors, it will continue to set off after each Miami Marlins home run, home win, and afternoon at 3:05 PM as tribute to Miami’s former area code.

The home run sculpture was protected by Miami-Dade’s Arts in Public Places Act which made it more difficult for the Miami Marlins to remove the sculpture from its current spot. In fact, Red Grooms, who is now in his 80’s, strongly objected to the Miami Marlins removing Homer. If Grooms disavows the sculpture which would deem it worthless, the Miami Marlins will be required to pay Miami-Dade County $2.5M. There were also discussions to move the sculpture to either Miami International Park, Museum Park or PortMiami.

The addition of the standing room only area at Marlins Park is driven by Millenials which are more interested in mingling and exploring the rest of the ballpark than sitting through an entire game. Many Major League Baseball teams offer a program called “Ballpark Pass” which provides fans with a standing room only ticket for all 81 home games at a set monthly fee. The standing room only area at Marlins Park will have a capacity of 400 people and will provide baseball fans with an incredible view of the Miami skyline beyond the outfield. It’s important to note that the Miami Marlins finished dead last in Major League Baseball for the 2018 season and are looking to completely re-brand both the ballpark and the franchise.


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