Young Marlins turn back clock on Saturday
MILWAUKEE -- The youthful Marlins took a step back in time on Saturday.
As a tribute to the Negro Leagues, the Marlins and Brewers each wore throwback replica uniforms for the middle of their three-game series at Miller Park.
The Marlins sported uniforms worn by the 1956 Miami Marlins, and each jersey had a patch with the No. 29 on it in honor of Satchel Paige.
The legendary Paige played three seasons for the Marlins, from 1956-58.
The Brewers wore reproductions of uniforms worn by the 1923 Milwaukee Bears, a member of the Negro National League.
Two Hall of Fame Marlins radio broadcasters got to meet Paige, who pitched into his upper 50s.
Felo Ramirez, the club's Spanish play-by-play announcer for Radio Mambi (WAQI 710 AM), saw Paige pitch in Havana, Cuba, which had an International League team in the 1950s.
Ramirez was the 2001 Ford C. Frick Award winner, which is recognized in the Hall of Fame.
Ramirez, who recently turned 90, also recalls seeing Paige when he was a pitching coach in Atlanta.
Ramirez recalled when Paige pitched against Connie Marrero in an International League game. A rocking chair was placed next to the dugout for the two old pitchers to sit in when they weren't pitching.
"It was the funniest thing," Ramirez said in Spanish. "It was a great show. One would pitch and the other would sit in the rocking chair.
"Even with all the years he had, he was a master, complete control. He threw relatively hard. At least he threw harder than Marrero."
Dave Van Horne, play-by-play announcer for the Marlins on 790 The Ticket, was the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award recipient.
When Van Horne was broadcasting the Richmond Braves from 1966-68, he had a chance to interact with Paige.
The Richmond Braves were playing an exhibition against the Atlanta Braves, and Paige was pitching that day.
Van Horne was asked to pick Paige up at the airport in Richmond and drive him to the ballpark.
"I had about 50 questions I wanted to ask him, but I didn't ask one, because he talked the whole ride," Van Horne said.