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On Friday, a group led by Yankees legend Derek Jeter and New York businessman Bruce Sherman agreed to buy the Miami Marlins from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion. The agreement was confirmed by the Marlins on Saturday, but is still weeks away from being approved by the other MLB owners. But that doesn’t mean Jeter and company aren’t already putting thought into their future plans.
Among those plans could be a significant change to the landscape at Marlins Park. That’s the word from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, who says Jeter’s group is giving serious consideration to removing the infamous home-run sculpture.
One thing someone connected to the Jeter group has suggested will likely go: the home run sculpture in left-center field that was designed by artist Red Grooms and has been the subject of controversy.
The $2.5 million sculpture has been a fixture at Marlins Park since its opening in 2012, and it’s also been a very divisive ballpark feature among fans. Some view the sculpture as out of place and out of touch. Those same people would probably add the sculpture in many ways symbolizes the entire Jeffrey Loria era as Marlins owner, meaning they would undoubtedly support that connection being removed.
On the other side of the coin, some people see it as a harmless gimmick that helped differentiate Marlins Park from the other ballparks around the league. To that point, it did add a slight bit of intrigue to this year’s Home Run Derby, if only because we were curious how many times it would be dented.
Honestly, it’s easy to see both sides of the argument. The sculpture is unique, weird and fun all at the same time. It gave Marlins Park some personality, like it or not. But it’s not like the Green Monster at Fenway Park or the ivy on the wall at Wrigley Field either. Those are true baseball staples. The game would not be the same without them, and there would definitely be push back if a new owner wanted to eliminate those features.
As for the home run sculpture, I think we’d all manage to get along just fine with or without it.
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