Fish survive after foul ball causes leak in Marlins Park aquarium

·Yahoo Sports Contributor

Most people were intrigued when the Marlins first announced an actual aquarium would be among the features at Marlins Park.

When the Marlins then added the two 450-gallon tanks would serve as the backstop behind home plate, nearly extending from dugout to dugout, intrigue turned to concern that a foul ball might puncture the tank and put the fish at risk.

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The Marlins did their best to ensure us that would never happen. And until Friday night anyway, that held true. Then Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto hit a check-swing foul ball off Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin that struck the tank squarely and actually cracked the shatter-proof safety glass that protects the fish tank.

At first everyone appeared stunned as salt water slowly leaked on to the warning track where a small pile of glass already sat. So stunned, in fact, that play nearly continued before the broken glass was swept up.

A ball boy removes broken glass from near the fish tank at Marlins Park. The glass was cracked on a foul ball by Miami's J.T. Realmuto. (AP)
A ball boy removes broken glass from near the fish tank at Marlins Park. The glass was cracked on a foul ball by Miami’s J.T. Realmuto. (AP)

“When I looked back, there was glass all over the dirt,” Realmuto told “I was just waiting for the thing to explode and fish to start flying out of it. Luckily, that didn’t happen. They were wanting to play through. I was like, ‘Hey, you might want to get that glass off the dirt back there. I don’t think the umpire saw it. It was pretty crazy.”

Once the area was cleaned up and it was determined no fish were in danger, the game continued. A short time later, some quick fixes were made to cover the punctured area.

The most important thing is there were no injuries to the fish or to the humans near by. We’re serious about that, though Marlins president David Samson did add some levity joking that two fish would be placed on the disabled list.

Nearly joining them was Fox Sports Florida reporter Craig Minervini. Later in the same game, he barely avoided injury on a hard hit foul ball off the bat of Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt.

The only thing that saved Minervini was his clipboard, which his colleagues deemed to be stronger than the aquarium’s shatter-proof glass.

It’s also now a collector’s item.

As evidenced by that photo, there was more than one close call Friday night in Miami. We’re just happy to report everyone could walk — or swim — away.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!