The Miami Marlins' much-anticipated debutante ball was upstaged when a photo began circulating early Friday afternoon of two players modeling the new brand began circulating on Twitter.
The photo shows second baseman Omar Infante wearing an orange jersey and black cap bearing the logo and lettering that has been rumored since September. Marlins is in block-lettering with the M larger and trimmed with orange, yellow, black and blue. An abstract figure of a marlin leaps from the middle of the lettering.
Next to him is Emilio Bonifacio wearing a black warm-up jacket with orange trim and the same markings. Miami is in block lettering across the jacket, and the M is accented by the abstract marlin.
Earlier, Will Manso, sports director at WPLG-TV in Miami, tweeted a blurry photo of a poster for a Marlins select-a-seat event that showed a player with a white jersey with the lettering MIAMI.
The Marlins will officially unveil the logo and the uniforms will be modeled by players and manager Ozzie Guillen before an invitation-only crowd of about 500 beginning at 9 p.m. Friday. The show will be streamed live on Marlins.com. Rapper Pitbull, a Miami native, will perform.
At 11, they will begin offering T-shirts, jerseys, caps and other accessories bearing the new design for sale to the public on the first floor of one of the garages outside the ballpark in Little Havana.
Intrigue -- and criticism -- began when the purported logo with the multi-color M and abstract marlin surfaced on the Internet a week before the end of the 2011 season. Reaction to the design has been largely, and often colorfully, negative.
Former Marlin Dan Uggla said at the time that he felt sorry for players who would wear the new uniforms. However, some players who had seen them spoke favorably of the new look during a team event Thursday night at the new ballpark.
The early leaks may have served to give everyone a chance to get used to a radical departure from the Marlins' teal past. It has created a buzz well beyond South Florida. The rebranding of the franchise, as well as courtship of prime free agents during the past week, has made the Marlins the talk of baseball.
On Saturday, the Marlins will begin selling new merchandise at three new locations, with players appearing at two of the sites: Sawgrass Mills (12801 W. Sunrise Blvd.), where Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco will be from noon to 1 p.m., Dolphin Mall (11401 NW 12th St.) where Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez will be from 12:45-1:45 p.m., and Aventura Mall (19501 Biscayne Blvd.). Also, merchandise will be available at the Marlins en Miami Store (3701 SW 8th St.) where John Buck and Anibal Sanchez will be from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Copyright © 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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