Marlins Vault: When a Berti became a bear

June 20th, 2021

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

Aug. 26, 2020: When a Berti became a bear
There were many unusual things about the 2020 season, which was played in the middle of a global pandemic. In the second game of a doubleheader at Citi Field, Jon Berti provided us with a sight not seen before. After walking against Jeurys Familia, Berti became the first player in franchise history to steal three bases in an inning, and the first MLB player to pull off the feat since Mallex Smith did so for the Mariners on May 27, 2019, against the Rangers. Berti bolted for home as catcher Ali Sánchez threw back to Familia, but he stumbled on his way to the plate and bear crawled until regaining his footing. Caught off guard, Familia short-hopped a throw that Sánchez couldn't corral. The play went viral, and it gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead in the sixth.

June 28, 2003: Tide turns with big rally
One night after losing 25-8, the Marlins looked to be on their way to another lopsided defeat at Fenway Park. Training 9-2, the Marlins scored four runs apiece in the eighth and ninth innings to capture a 10-9 victory. Juan Encarnacion knocked a three-run homer in the eighth, while Mike Lowell delivered the go-ahead, three-run shot against Brandon Lyon with two outs in the ninth. Braden Looper cemented the win with his 14th save. The Marlins got back to .500 in a game many consider to be the turning point of their season. The club went 50-30 the rest of the way to cement the NL Wild Card berth en route to their second World Series title.

Oct. 4, 2015: Ichiro's wish granted
Future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki had lobbied for years -- both while playing in Japan and in the United States -- to pitch in a game. He finally got his opportunity on the final day of his 15th Major League season. With the Marlins trailing the Phillies, 6-2, the 41-year-old took the mound in the eighth inning. Ichiro gave up a run on a pair of doubles, and his fastball reached a maximum velocity of 88.4 mph. He received a nice ovation from the Phillies faithful and his teammates.

June 22, 2006: Miggy prefers to hit
Remember when intentional walks weren't automatic? In a 5-5 ballgame between the Marlins and Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Miguel Cabrera stepped to the plate. With Hanley Ramirez at second base and one out in the 10th inning, Baltimore wanted nothing to do with the Marlins' cleanup hitter and future Hall of Famer. So Todd Williams lollipopped a throw to catcher Ramon Hernandez to begin an intentional walk, but it caught too much of the plate. Cabrera swung at the offering and lined it into center field. Ramirez easily raced home to score the go-ahead run in an eventual 8-5 Marlins victory.

Aug. 10, 2005: Modern day Houdini
Who's to say whether third baseman Mike Lowell cemented his Gold Glove Award by pulling off the hidden-ball trick? It came at a great time for the Marlins, who led the D-backs 6-5 in the eighth inning. When pinch-hitter Tony Clark singled to left field to put runners at the corners, Lowell cut off Miguel Cabrera's throw to the infield. Unbeknownst to Luis Terrero, Lowell held onto the ball as reliever Todd Jones walked around the mound. After Terrero took a step off the bag to get a lead, Lowell calmly tagged him out. Third-base umpire Ed Rapuano explained what happened to Terrero, while Craig Counsell could only stare in disbelief at the plate. The Marlins would go on to score four runs in the bottom of the frame in a 10-5 victory.

Sept. 12, 2008: Four's company
Though the 2008 Marlins didn't reach the postseason, they accomplished a feat that had never been done in Major League history. When third baseman Jorge Cantu sent a pitch from Nationals right-hander Shairon Martis over the left-center-field wall, it gave every infield starter at least 25 homers. Mike Jacobs (first base, 32 HRs), Dan Uggla (second base, 32 HRs) and Hanley Ramirez (shortstop, 33 HRs) hugged Cantu as he made his way back to the dugout. Cantu hit four more homers to finish with 29 but was unable to go deep over the season's final eight games, just missing out on the 30-homer threshold. "What a great feat those four guys did, to witness it," then-manager Fredi González recently told MLB.com. "That's not one play, but a group of players. He was playing on like one leg. He had a severely sprained ankle. 'Put me in there.'"

Oct. 26, 1997: Flair for the dramatic
Only three World Series have gone the distance and ended on a walk-off hit in extra innings, with the most recent taking place in South Florida in front of 67,204 fans at Pro Player Stadium. After rallying with one out in the ninth inning against Cleveland closer Jose Mesa, Edgar Renteria sent a liner over Charles Nagy's glove to score rookie Craig Counsell in the 11th. Counsell, who threw his arms in the air after touching home plate, was embraced just after midnight in a thrilling finale. The Marlins became the quickest expansion team at the time to win the Fall Classic, doing so in their fifth year of existence, and the first Wild Card to win the championship.