Bendix leads way as Marlins give back for Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

MIAMI -- Not too long after finalizing his first trade as the Marlins' president of baseball operations on Friday night, Peter Bendix saw another opportunity to wheel and deal.

Bendix, who was entrusted with his father-in-law's top-secret brownie recipe, got word that catcher is in charge of his family's top-secret cornbread recipe.

"I can arrange a trade," Bendix said. "I love cornbread. See if he likes brownies, and then we can make a trade. Maybe like a brownie to be named later?"

Fortes, Bendix, Silver Slugger Award-winning second baseman and left-hander helped the Marlins distribute meals to 1,000 families on Friday at loanDepot park for the annual Home Plate Meals Thanksgiving distribution, presented by Love, Tito's and Maxsip Telecom, and done with the support of Feeding South Florida.

The event, which took place on the West Plaza for the first time in a few years, involved handing out a 25-pound meal box, including a 10-pound turkey and other staples for a traditional Thanksgiving family dinner -- highlighted by items provided by partners Goya Foods, P.A.N. and Pepsi -- to the Little Havana community.

"It was awesome," Garrett said. "We showed up just a few minutes late, and everyone was ready for us. We were a little bit overwhelmed at first, but what an awesome turnout. It feels great. I just appreciate the Marlins giving me the opportunity to come down here and do something like this. It makes me really happy and my family really happy."

It also marked the first time Bendix had the opportunity to meet with the players. Arraez, who recently said he would be open to an extension, distributed food alongside Bendix, president of business operations Caroline O'Connor and mascots Billy the Marlin and Pepito while a DJ played tunes.

Courtesy of Jasen Vinlove/Marlins

Arraez often found himself stopping to take photos with fans and wish them a “Feliz día de acción de gracias,” which is Spanish for “Happy Thanksgiving Day.” Arraez has much to be thankful for in 2023. Not only did he have a career year in his first season with the Marlins, but his wife is also expecting their third daughter at the end of the month.

"I met Peter inside," Arraez said. "I was surprised because I didn't know if he was here today. He just spent a lot of good time with me there. We talked a lot, and I think we started really good with him.”

Fortes, who arrived with Garrett and their significant others, didn't get to mingle as much with the new boss since they were stationed in the other line. But his cornbread recipe, which comes from his father's side of the family and is written on a weathered receipt that has since been laminated, could be his in. Fortes has been making it for as long as he can remember.

"It's the best time of the year," Fortes said. "You get to spend time with loved ones and eat good food and just relax, and not have to worry about the stresses of baseball. Just kind of unwind. So it's definitely the best time of the year. I'm thankful for a lot of things: my health, my family's health, the career I am blessed to play baseball. There's just so much. The list goes on."