In 2018, the Miami Marlins announced they would relocate their infamous seven-story home-run sculpture from the outfield in Marlins Park to a spot that was a little less, well, in-your-face. Back then, the Art in Public Places board of Miami-Dade County unanimously voted to move the mechanical art piece to a location outside the ballpark.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the return of Homer is upon us. The old friend was spotted outside Marlins Park at FanFest this past weekend, completing arguably one of the greatest comebacks in Miami sports history. If you take away the Miami Hurricanes' comeback against the Florida Gators in 2003, the Dolphins' "Miami Miracle" win against the New England Patriots in 2018, and Dwyane Wade's return to Miami to end his career with the Heat last season, there are only about 50 comebacks — maybe 100, tops — that would rank ahead of the sculpture's return to Marlins Park.
With spring training just a few days away, Marlins fans seem ready to embrace this year's new-and-improved version of the baseball club. And as a bonus, those who come out to the ballpark will be treated to a glimpse of a sculpture that has seen some things in its day.
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I found the Marlins homerun sculpture! pic.twitter.com/MRRp9ZBJU5— Matthew Kory (@mattymatty2000) February 9, 2020
Long live Homer. Our dear friend has returned!
Home-run sculpture aside, FanFest was a roaring success this past Saturday. About 17,000 fans attended — 5,000 more than the previous year. And by all accounts, there seems to be a genuine buzz around the team following a year of savvy moves to stock its farm system with top-tier talent that should soon head to the big club in Miami.
The Marlins hope this year's ballclub brings much more excitement to the field. Outside, the home-run sculpture does its part. Welcome back, Homer. You were missed.