The World Series begins on Tuesday, and I for one cannot wait. For those of you who don’t follow sports very closely, it will involve two of the most storied teams in baseball: the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. The Indians last won a World Series in 1948. But Chicago’s drought beats that dubious record by decades: the Cubs have not been to the Series in 71 years and have not won it since 1908. That’s a 108-year deprivation.

For me, though, this historic Series will be slightly marred by one thing. One guy, actually. His name is “Marlins Man.” And I loathe him.

I first became aware of Marlins Man last year, when he showed up at the All-Star game in July. He was constantly on camera because he sat right behind home plate, and he was wearing an orange Miami Marlins sweatshirt and an orange visor.

Then he became a fixture during the playoffs and World Series, always sitting behind home plate, always wearing the ubiquitous Marlins outfit. (Mind you, the Marlins were not in the postseason at all.) Of course, all of the other fans were wearing the colors of the two teams involved. But not Marlins Man. He really stood out. He was a blazing beacon in orange.

It amazed and intrigued me that one guy could somehow score a ticket – right behind home plate – to every playoff and World Series game. (Well, not every playoff game, obviously, because sometimes multiple games occur simultaneously and he had to choose one.) How can that even happen? It’s not that these tickets are easy to come by. And the chances of getting a coveted seat in a particular section on camera must be very, very slim.

So I did some research on the guy.

His name is Laurence Leavy, he’s 60 years old, and he owns a big law firm in Miami. And it’s not just baseball games he attends. He’s also inhabited choice seats at the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl, the NBA finals, etc.

So how does Mr. Leavy score the tickets? Generally he gets them off of StubHub – a site on which season-ticket holders sell their unused tickets. He apparently has no problem getting them because, as he boasts, “people will sell them for good money.” He says the price he’s able to offer is equivalent to an entire year’s worth of seats. So we’re obviously talking YUUUUGE bucks.

I use StubHub myself. That’s where I buy my tickets to all of the Giants weekday afternoon games. I set myself a price limit of $20-$40, and I sit in the highest-level seats, in sections 312–314 because they’re near the escalator and Tony’s Slicehouse Pizza, which also happens to sell Sierra Nevada beer. Nirvana.

Marlins Man, obviously, is in a far different league. He’s unbelievably wealthy. During the 2003 World Series, he apparently bought an entire section of seats and brought 104 people to sit with him. There was nothing wrong with that, of course; the Marlins were actually in the Series that year, and I am not one to unilaterally demonize the rich. He did a generous thing, and wealth in the hands of good people can do immense good.

Why, then, does Marlins Man bother me so much? I’ve asked myself that question many times.

That stupid visor

First of all, I hate that he wears the same outfit to every game he attends. The same orange Marlins sweatshirt, no matter the weather, the event, or the location. And I hate that he wears a visor, for cryin’ out loud. Why not wear a baseball cap, as everyone else does? Visors are for accountants, bookies, blackjack dealers, high-society Napa ladies, and golfers (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those people!). To make matters worse, he often wears the visor sideways, which really gripes my keister. It just looks ridiculous.

I hate, too, that he hardly ever watches the game. He’s either blathering to the fans around him or obsessed with his cell phone. Since he has no particular allegiance to either team involved, he doesn’t feel a burning need to focus on the game. In the ninth inning of Saturday night’s Cubs victory, for example, while the Chicago fans were at once nervous and weeping with joy, he was turned with his back to the camera, taking selfies. What a jerk.

I’m not the only one who takes issue with this guy. During last year’s World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets, the Royals were royally miffed that he was there. They tried to bribe him with World Series paraphernalia if he would just jettison the *&^%$#@ orange sweatshirt. And they even offered to move him to a private suite. But he refused. After all, he’d paid $8,000 for his ticket. And he certainly was well within his rights to wear what he wanted and sit where he wanted. But still, it was almost a deliberate attempt to flaunt his power and show up the Royals fans. What a putz.

He also got into a beef with some Indians fans once, so this upcoming World Series should be interesting. After the incident (which is too unclear to recount), he actually engaged in a Twitter storm with Indians fans and somehow ended up tweeting something about the “Japs.” Lovely. What a bully.

It bothers me, too, that he feels he has to have seats directly behind home plate. In my view, those seats should go to diehard loyal fans. Instead, Marlins Man admits that he wants those seats so that he will be on camera for the entire game. If he fit in with the crowd, and didn’t make such an effort to call attention to himself, no one would notice him.  But what a shameless publicity hog.

Of course, Marlin Man’s ability to get those seats also means that someone is willing to give them up. This is what really puzzles me. If I had a World Series ticket, and the Giants were playing, and I could be sitting a few feet behind Buster Posey, would I sell my ticket to this obnoxious dude from Florida? That hypothetical recently prompted a conversation between Julie and me. I asked her to imagine that she had such a ticket and that Marlins Man offered her money to give it up. How much dough would it take? I declared that for me, it would take half a million dollars. Julie said that she would sell out give up the ticket for $10,000. (I was aghast.)

He’s on the phone, as usual.

Mostly, though, what bothers me about Marlins Man is that this one wealthy guy can have continuing access to the most coveted seats at the most significant sporting events in the country. There are people throughout this nation who would give their eye teeth to go to one of those games, but they can’t afford even the least expensive of regular-season games, which are now – like everything else – beyond the means of so many. The concept he represents is what most of us know to be true – that wealth equals power, and part of that power is the ability to have anything one wants and to wield control, however subtly, over the less wealthy in the process.

I’m sorry, dear readers, to have put this guy’s visage in your heads, because if you tune in to the World Series, he is going to haunt you. I guarantee that he will be at every World Series game starting Tuesday, sitting in his usual spot, and you will not be able to avoid his garish presence. I’ve been thinking about sticking a Post-It note on my TV screen over his vile head.

But keep in mind that you will be witnessing history. I cannot wait to watch these two great teams play for the greatest title in the greatest American sport. My heart lies with the Cubs, because of family and friends and that 108-year dry spell. But I will not be dismayed by a Cleveland victory if that happens. These are two honorable teams, each of them deserving.

And if your eyes should fall on Marlins Man, just avert them. This rich, orange, entitled, self-besotted, intimidating cretin of a media hog may lurk around for a little while longer. But come early November, when the contest is over, we will be rid of him. And what a relief that will be.


By the way, I would love to hear from my readers as to how much money they would be willing to take for a coveted ticket. Don’t limit this to the World Series. Imagine it’s a ticket to something you revere. It could be the Super Bowl, or the NBA finals, or Wimbledon. It could be front-row seats to see Streisand or Springsteen. Or a chance to ride with the Blue Angels. Just let me know how much lucre it would take for you to sell your soul!

10 thoughts on “Begone, Marlins Man!

  1. I thought about this when I saw those tickets for $39k each on stubhub for Saturday’s game…”hmmmm…” I thought, “How on earth could the owner’s of those tickets not want to be in their seats for HISTORY either way?” But then…as I was pacing my living room last night watching my Cubbies in game 7, I realized there’s no part of me that would want to be AT that game. I’d be hysterical throughout the entire thing!!! HAHA! Great post Paula! Glad I read it a week late. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Paula- You are baaack! Yay! I missed your posts. Glad you are back safe and sound from your cross country train trip. Great blog!!!!! Another wonderful tid bit from my fav writer! Well, this is more than a tid bit. Marlins Man will be a huge distraction in this epic World Series. Yes, I am sorry for this visage too, but I guess I will have to drink more beer during the games in order to try to ignore that man. I like your post it note idea on the TV. However, as you know, the camera will shift a bit. So, I think you should train your beloved pup Buster to move the post it note around the TV screen to cover this man’s vile face while still be able to watch the action. As far as selling a coveted ticket to Marlins Man….hummm….I like your figure of a half million bucks! Love ya! ML

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  3. Even though I don’t enjoy watching baseball, football, soccer, or hockey, I enjoyed your article immensely, Paula. Yes, I do find Marlins Man to be obnoxious & annoying. Yes, he does look stupid wearing his visor turned sideways….He is way too old for that.
    As far as what my breaking point for selling coveted tickets would be? I can’t really say, since I’m an introvert & avoid crowds like the plague, so you won’t find such tickets in my possession. Now, a day alone to do as I please with no worries… just can’t put a price tag on that. 🙂

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  4. I recall, in December 2011, winning two tickets to see Sting at the Masonic. I was giddy with happiness! As soon as we got home from the event where I had scored the tix (and this was about 4 hours before I was to finally feast my eyes on my beloved Sting, live and in person), my then-boyfriend was on his computer, seeing what “we” could sell the tickets for. The NERVE! I came unglued (and refused to even entertain the thought of selling my prize). The concert was AMAZEballs, and clearly I learned a lesson, because I left not two months later and moved out. Some things are priceless.
    [That being said, I think the price you will take for any cherished thing is a factor not only of your desire for the thing, but also of your financial need at the time. I feel fortunate that those Sting tickets weren’t taking the place of groceries…but I think i still would be happy to eat saltines and mustard for a week to go see Sting again.]

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  5. I used Stub Hub to score 2 tickets for $1100 to the 2007 All-Star Game in (of course) San Francisco, and thought I was mildly insane for paying that much. But hey, it was a bucket-list worthy reason for me. Couldn’t imagine paying what MarMan is paying, though. And why, other than to boast that he was at all the premier sporting events? (Power tripping, perhaps?) To answer your question, if I was able to score tickets I don’t think I would sell them at all. Once-in-a-lifetime, you know.


  6. Some people have too much money. He should be taxed more. As for the coveted ticket, I avoid crowds and therefore big events. I wish wish wish I had been to the Circus, back in the sixties, with the Rolling Stones and John Lennon. No amount of money would convince me to sell that ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

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