October 10, 2006
SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM MARLINS MANAGER FREDI GONZALEZ
Dear Marlins Fans,
The last few days have been surreal for me, in many ways a
dream that has now become a reality. I began to have this
dream in 1991, when I was hired as the first Minor League
manager in the Marlins organization. It has been a long but
exciting journey for me, from growing up in Perrine, to
attending and playing baseball at Miami Southridge High
School, to being drafted by the Yankees, to managing for both
the Marlins and the Braves, and now being back home in South
Florida and seeing my dream come true. I could not have done
this without the support of my wife, my children, and my
family. My parents had a dream as well, to watch their kids
grow up and be successful. They had the courage to sacrifice
everything because of their love for us, and I am happy to
know that this means as much to my family as it does to me.
I was fortunate enough to be here for the beginning of the
Marlins franchise, and I hope that you are as proud as I am
of what this organization has accomplished. Much has happened
in its short history; 2 World Series championships,
8 Gold Glove winners, 4 Silver Sluggers and 30 All-Stars.
I was in a good place in Atlanta and I was a part of some
very successful seasons, but this is the first organization
that gave me an opportunity to coach at the Major League
level, and I am thrilled to be back home.
I have much to be excited about in my first season as manager.
I am inheriting a great pitching staff with guys like Dontrelle
Willis, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky
Nolasco. The lineup should also reap the benefits of a full
season of experience, and I expect great things out of players
like Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham,
and Jeremy Hermida. I have known Miguel Cabrera since he was a
baby-faced infielder and I look forward to seeing him continue
to blossom as one of the best young stars in baseball. There
are areas that we will need to improve, but I can promise you
that this team will be exciting, will play hard and will be
competitive in a difficult division. I will do everything I
can to take this team to the next level and build on the
success that is already ahead of schedule. These young men
all have dreams as well, dreams to become champions, and
together we will work to make those dreams come true.
I hope you are excited as I am. I can't wait for Spring
Training to start and to begin working toward accomplishing
our goals. I invite you to join us at Dolphin Stadium in 2007
for a season that promises to be exciting and memorable. See
you at the ballpark!