When the Marlins' home was someone else's

January 22nd, 2021

There's no place like home, except when it's not.

A COVID-19 outbreak following the 2020 season's opening weekend forced the Marlins to spend 23 days on the road for a 12-game trip. The club would go on to play just 26 games at Marlins Park compared with 34 away from Miami during a truncated 60-game season. In order to make up a week's worth of matchups, the Marlins played seven doubleheaders.

This strange year aside, the Marlins have had to play "home" games outside South Florida a handful of times in their history. Here's a look at them.

Sept. 15-17, 2017
Opponent: Brewers
Venue: Miller Park (now American Family Field)

There was an active storm season in 2017, when a three-game weekend series between the Marlins and Brewers was forced to relocate to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Irma. (The roof of Marlins Park incurred minor damage that was fixed over the offseason.)

Attendance was capped due to staffing issues, with only the lower seating bowl open for the series opener (a capacity of about 10,000). Capacity increased to approximately 23,000 for the next two games.

"Marlins Park stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening public service resources was not the proper course of action," then-Marlins president David Samson said in a statement. "Following Hurricane Irma, the Miami Marlins realize that all of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority at this time."

The Marlins lost two of three to the Brewers, who were chasing the Cubs in the National League Central. Brian Ellington and Dustin McGowan combined to allow eight runs in the eighth as the Crew broke open a 2-2 score. Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich drove in two apiece in Miami's 7-4 win in Game 2, but another eight-run inning propelled Milwaukee to the series win in the finale.

June 24-26, 2011
Opponent: Mariners
Venue: Safeco Field (now T-Mobile Park)

Sunday bloody Sunday.

The Marlins were scheduled to host the Mariners for a three-game weekend series, but the games were moved to Seattle because of a scheduling conflict at Sun Life Stadium. U2's 360° Tour was due to stop by South Florida on June 29, so the Marlins had to vacate to allow sufficient setup time.


"What happened was U2 had to reschedule for a year later, and the baseball schedule was such that there was no other way to have us at home that series," Samson told MLB.com. "We obviously couldn't play at home, because we don't control the stadium. For one final season, we are tenants.

"So we worked closely with baseball for an alternate venue. The best and only solution was to play the games in Seattle."

The two Major League clubs farthest away from each other -- 3,284.6 miles, to be exact -- battled it out in an Interleague matchup. Felix Hernandez stymied the Marlins in a 5-1 win in the opener before former Marlin Jason Vargas lost the middle game, 4-2. The Mariners won the rubber match, 2-1, when Steve Cishek threw a wild pitch during an attempted intentional walk in the 10th.

June 28-30, 2010
Opponent: Mets
Venue: Estadio Hiram Bithorn in San Juan, Puerto Rico

MLB goodwill ambassador Vera Clemente was in attendance celebrating her native Puerto Rico and promoting the importance of courage and character, the values displayed by her late husband, Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

Homers by Cody Ross, Chris Coghlan and Giancarlo Stanton (then known as Mike) powered the Marlins to a 10-3 win in the opener before the series was clinched the following night on Dan Uggla's two-out walk-off single. The Marlins dropped the finale, 6-5.

The Marlins, who also played games in Puerto Rico when it was the part-time home of the Expos from 2003-04, were scheduled for a three-game home series in San Juan against the Mets in '20, but COVID-19 canceled those plans.

Sept. 13-14, 2004
Opponent: Expos
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field (now Guaranteed Rate Field)

The threat of Hurricane Ivan pushed the first two matchups of a four-game series against the National League East-rival Expos to the home of the American League Central White Sox. The Marlins won both matinees. Josh Beckett led the way in the opener, allowing two runs over seven innings in a 6-3 win in front of a crowd of 4,003. The following afternoon, Alex Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera and Jeff Conine went deep in an 8-6 victory in front of 5,457.

Later in the month, the Marlins hosted the Cubs for a doubleheader after Hurricane Frances pushed back the games.