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Marlins finish '17 ready for new chapter

Despite individual achievements, club fell short of goals
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Home run and RBI records may have fallen for the Marlins, but little else went the organization's way in 2017, which will go down as a season in transition.

There was plenty of personal excitement surrounding the team, with Giancarlo Stanton setting team marks with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. The All-Star right fielder also became the Marlins' first National League Most Valuable Player Award winner.

MIAMI -- Home run and RBI records may have fallen for the Marlins, but little else went the organization's way in 2017, which will go down as a season in transition.

There was plenty of personal excitement surrounding the team, with Giancarlo Stanton setting team marks with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. The All-Star right fielder also became the Marlins' first National League Most Valuable Player Award winner.

Video: Stanton caps off historic 2017 with NL MVP Award

Stanton was not alone in producing big numbers, as Marcell Ozuna finished with 37 homers and 124 RBIs, and Dee Gordon led the Majors with 60 stolen bases.

Video: Must C Classic: Gordon reaches 60 steals, 200 hits

When it came to personal achievements, there was plenty to cheer about. Collectively? Not so much, as the club finished 77-85, marking the franchise's eighth straight losing season.

MLB.com looks at Miami's top five moments:

1. Stanton chases 60, ends with 59

Gary Sheffield belted 42 home runs in 1996, and the milestone stood alone in club history for 21 years. In his historical home run season, Stanton made relatively quick work of the old mark, hitting No. 43 on Aug. 13. When the dust cleared and the regular season ended on Oct. 1, Stanton was atop MLB's leaderboard with 59 home runs. The four-time All-Star pursued 60 in the final few days, even leading off to get as many at-bats as possible in the season finale. Although he fell just short, 59 was a major accomplishment. Just five other players have hit as many dingers in a single season. Stanton added 132 RBIs, another Miami record, and became the franchise's first National League Most Valuable Player Award winner.

Video: Check out all 59 of Stanton's homers in 2017

2. Sherman/Jeter take ownership

On Sept. 28, 2014, Derek Jeter played in his final big league game, capping a brilliant 20-year career as the Yankees' captain and shortstop. After building first-ballot Hall of Fame credentials, Jeter is back in baseball, but not as the face of the Yankees. He's now a part owner and chief executive officer of the Marlins. The Bruce Sherman-Jeter ownership group completed a $1.2 billion purchase of the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria at the end of the season, and on Oct. 3, Sherman and Jeter were introduced at a news conference at Marlins Park.

Video: Jeter on being excited to be Marlins owner

They become the fourth owners in franchise history, and their mission is to build a stable organization from the bottom up. The transformation will not happen overnight, and Jeter has asked the market to be patient as talent is being infused at all levels.

Video: Jeter on rebuilding a winning franchise in Miami

3. Volquez no-hits D-backs

You had to go back to June 3, 2014, to find the last complete game by a Marlins pitcher. On that day, Henderson Alvarez went the distance in a shutout over the Rays. Alvarez also tossed the Marlins last no-hitter, achieving it in unconventional style, with a walk-off win, on the last day of the season against the Tigers in 2013.

Video: DET@MIA: Marlins walk off to ensure Alvarez no-hitter

On June 3, 2017, Edinson Volquez etched his name in Marlins' lore, no-hitting the D-backs, 3-0, at Marlins Park. An emotional Volquez pitched with a purpose, as his 10-strikeout gem came on what would have been Yordano Ventura's 26th birthday. Volquez and Ventura were close friends and teammates in Kansas City. Ventura died in a car crash in January. Volquez dedicated the game to Ventura and Jose Fernandez, the Marlins ace who died in a boating accident in 2016.

 Video: ARI@MIA: Volquez completes no-hitter with strikeout

4. Bour puts on HR Derby Show

Stanton may have made the regular season his personal Home Run Derby. But at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park in July, it was Miami first baseman Justin Bour who stole the show with his fun-loving round of 22 homers.

With the hometown fans behind him, Bour went on a roll, launching long, towering home runs to right field. Playing to the crowd, Bour waved on more cheers and at one moment took a break and was fed a donut from Stanton. Aaron Judge rallied to win the round, and the event, but Bour was a big winner in terms of being a fan favorite.

Video: HRD Rd1: Bour belts 22 home runs in Round 1

5. Wheeling and Dealing

Entering the season without a true ace, and questionable starting pitching, the Marlins were hopeful everything would fall in their favor and they could be in playoff contention. It didn't happen, and after eight straight losing seasons, new ownership decided to take the club in a different direction. Since late June, seven trades were made that brought in 20 different players. The Marlins completed trades for Stanton, Ozuna and Gordon in December. Adeiny Hechavarria, David Phelps and AJ Ramos were dealt during the season. 

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

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