As the Miami Marlins get set for what could be a huge second half of 2023, they now know what the slate for 2024 will look like.
Major League Baseball released next season’s schedules on Thursday. Miami will open at home on March 28, 2024, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Click here for the Marlins’ full 2024 schedule.
Opening Day next season will mark the first time since 1996 that the Marlins and Pirates have opened against one another. That year, the Marlins wasted a gem of a start in Kevin Brown’s franchise debut as Pittsburgh won 4-0 before taking two of three at Joe Robbie Stadium.
While the Marlins and Pirates will square off to open the season for the first time in 28 years, there are four National League opponents that Miami has never kicked off the year against. Here’s a look below:
One of Major League Baseball’s newest franchises, the Arizona Diamondbacks have never began their season in South Florida and the Marlins have never began theirs in the desert. It is worth noting that Arizona’s first-ever series victory came over the then Florida Marlins in April 1998. The Diamondbacks took three of four from the Marlins at what was then Bank One Ballpark. Arizona scored a total of 29 runs in the three wins.
The Cincinnati Reds are one of four teams that the Marlins have never opened the year against, but the opposite is not true. In 2012, Cincinnati opened the year at home against the Marlins, but Miami actually kicked off its season a day earlier as it fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in the first-ever game at Marlins Park. The Reds won their 2012 opener over the Marlins 4-0 behind seven shutout innings of three-hit ball from…wait for it…current Marlins pitcher Johnny Cueto.
The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t rejoin the National League until 1998, but their first four-game set upon returning came against the Florida Marlins. At Pro Player Stadium, the Brewers swept the series. In the series opener, Milwaukee’s Jose Valentin had the first-ever three-homer game against the Marlins.
San Diego Padres
The final team to make the list, the San Diego Padres have never been the season-opening opponent for the Marlins. San Diego, however, was the second-ever opponent for the then Florida Marlins. After dropping two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers to begin the franchise in 1993, the Marlins dropped two of three against the Padres. Charlie Hough, a 45-year-old knuckleballer at the time, picked up each of the first two wins in Marlins history. Bryan Harvey saved each of the first two.
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fish on First, who covers Miami Marlins history. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson