Marlins' '97, '03 WS teams in Dream Bracket 2

May 20th, 2020

MIAMI -- The Marlins’ two World Series championship teams from 1997 and 2003 have been selected to participate in a simulated baseball tournament that features 64 all-time great baseball clubs.

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with Out of the Park Baseball 21, has set up the best-of-seven series simulation known as the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons, which will begin Thursday.

MLB Dream Bracket 2 features two all-time teams from each of the 30 Major League franchises (post-World War II), along with three Negro League teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos.

The list of 64 clubs includes 34 World Series-winning teams and 18 100-win-season squads. There are 92 Hall of Famers, 23 Most Valuable Player Award winners, 14 Cy Young Award winners and 17 Manager of the Year Award winners included in the simulation. The rosters for each team were selected by the beat reporters, in consultation with the clubs.

In the National League’s Region 1 Bracket, the 1997 Marlins will face the ’69 Mets. The "Miracle Mets," who were led by Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, shocked the Orioles to win the World Series in five games.

In the Region 2 Bracket, the 2003 Marlins will face the 1979 Pirates. That team featured all-time great Willie Stargell and won the World Series in seven games also against the O’s. The hit disco song "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge became the team's theme song.

In Marlins history, the lone two teams to make the playoffs each won the Fall Classic.

In 1997, the Marlins were managed by Jim Leyland, who guided the club to a 92-70 season and the National League Wild Card spot. After sweeping the Giants in three games in the NL Division Series, Miami eliminated the Braves in six games in the NL Championship Series. Livan Hernández struck out 15, which is still tied for the most in LCS history, in a 2-1 win in Game 5. And behind Kevin Brown’s eight-strikeout complete game, the Marlins closed out the series in Game 6, earning their place in the World Series.

In a classic Game 7, Edgar Renteria slapped a soft single to center field in the 11th inning, scoring Craig Counsell from third base, giving the Marlins a 3-2 walk-off World Series victory over the Indians.

The 2003 Marlins were a great underdog story, surging from 10 games under .500 in May to finishing 91-71 and winning the NL Wild Card. Manager Jack McKeon, then 72 years old, took over the club from Jeff Torborg that month and went on to win the NL Manager of the Year Award.

The playoffs were filled with drama, as the Marlins topped the Giants again in the NLDS. Catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodríguez made the memorable final out of the series, tagging J.T. Snow out at home plate while being knocked over.

In the NLCS, the Marlins eliminated the Cubs in an epic seven-game series. Game 6 featured an eight-run rally in the eighth inning after fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball away from Cubs left fielder Moises Alou.

Josh Beckett won World Series MVP honors after finishing off the Yankees in Game 6, blanking New York, 2-0, at Yankee Stadium while pitching on three days’ rest at 23 years old.