14 Feb PG Talk: Marlins Man
Profile: Laurence Leavy | From: Miami Beach, FL
College: Emory University | Florida State University | University of Miami Law
For those who are unfamiliar with yourself, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am 62 years old, from Miami Beach Florida, went to Emory University and FSU for undergrad and Miami for law school and practice workers compensation law in Florida. I started out at Miami Dolphins football and Atlanta Braves Baseball fans.
Since 1987, 30 years, I have had my own law firm and initially always bought season tickets to sporting events to give to my referral sources or clients for Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers and FSU Seminoles.
How did the “Marlins Man” come about?
Marlins Man came about by accident in 2012, the Marlins changed their colors from team to Orange and I wore to the away world series of SF Giants vs. Tigers, and was NOT named Marlins Man then. I didn’t want publicity and did only 1 interview with Amy Nelson of SB Nation. After the world series was over a San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Park ranger named me the Marlins Man, my office as a birthday present made me jerseys and in 2013 I wore them to tons of NBA games traveling around with the Miami Heat, with LeBron James, Wade, and Bosh.
When did you become a Marlins fan?
ALWAYS, since the 1st year of 1993, I have had between 10 and 20 full season tickets. That’s between 810 and 1620 tickets a year. I give all away except about 50 games I go to for Marlins, I don’t go to Sunday day or any day games.
How were you able to keep your “5 minutes of fame” and turn it into a brand?
By accident. everything blew up in 2014 at SF Giants and KC Royals world series, a lot of controversies occurred because I would not change clothes of seats at Royals request. Initially, Kansas City HATED ME but once they educated themselves and learned about me, the loved me. I am blessed, humbled, and grateful that so many of the GREAT people of Kansas City love me, I love them MORE.
What is the Marlins Man day job?
Workers Compensation Attorney. Commercial Real Estate Investor. Thoroughbred racing horse owner, I own Starship Stables with between 75 and 100 horses a year, including babies and moms.
How many orange Marlins jerseys do you own?
GREAT QUESTION, long answer. Down to 6 (all have the same front, but different sleeves and backs), I only had 1 to start, nothing on the back. Framed it as it is historic. After named “Marlins Man” my staff made a named jersey. After a World Series, I put them up for sale on eBay and donate 100% of the money to the MAKE A WISH of the winning city. The Giants/Royals set, including a visor, went for about $5,500 in 2014, and the Royals/Mets Jersey went for about $ 5,000 in 2015, 100% of the funds went to the Make a Wish of the winning city. (Didn’t go to World Series in 2016 for Cubs/Indians for security reasons.) The 2017 set I haven’t put for sale yet. WILL LIST IT WHEN ASTROS SEASON STARTS.
Tell us about the Marlins Man Movement?
It’s much more than merely being seen on TV in a contrasting jersey. It’s about doing good for strangers, being grateful and humble for the successes of life and sharing the moments with others, that’s what pay it forward is about. Its also about me using my notoriety to promote that we really need to appreciate and worship the ultimate Pay IT Forward providers, our parents, teachers, military, police, firemen, and EMT. These kids are worshiping actors, singers, movie stars, rappers, etc. for the WRONG REASONS. Those people don’t care about them or sacrifice their time or lives for them. I live and practice every day that NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES.
How do you feel about the new Miami Marlins ownership with Derek Jeter?
Initially, I was all for it, THUMBS UP. However, getting rid of Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine, Public Relations Jack McKeon, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, 90% of the loyal staff, BILLY THE MARLIN, Stanton, Ozuna, Yelich, Gordon, Volquez. Also with AJ Ramos and Hechavarria traded last year, I don’t even know this team. From opening day last year, only starters back are Bour on 1st and Realmuto catching. Hard to have any loyalty to an AAA expansion team playing in the major leagues with no stars or hope of winning.
How do you think the Miami Marlins will do in the 2018 season?
60-102. If lucky
What is the memorable game you went to?
A LOT. When it turned out I didn’t have liver cancer, and it was a scare, I realized I am not living forever and I needed to go see in person things I watch on TV. a great memory was NLCS game in San Fran, in 2012, when they beat the Cardinals in freezing rain and monsoon downpour to go to world series against the Tigers. And Panda hitting 3 hr in 1 game was great. Buster Posey winning game 4, hitting the winning home run while I was doing the FSU tomahawk war chant chop was classic. WATCH, FIND ME…… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2fvNd-6Loc 2 years ago, Dodgers at Cubs, after Indians fans threatened me, and having Wrigley field chanting MARLINS MAN, MARLINS MAN, MARLINS MAN, and then CLEVELAND SUCKS, CLEVELAND SUCKS was classic.
How many sporting events do you attend on average?
I go to about 300 sporting events a year. Last year I went to sporting events on 301 days, 17 doubleheaders, 1 triple-header. About 250 a year of those were away games. 128 plane flights on 48 trips to 24 different cities including NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.
We see you take a lot of people to games, do you just randomly choose people?
Yes but they have to come in singles and not pairs. I want them to meet other strangers in the city they live. They already have so much I common. Sports fans. Go to events instead of watching. Realize attending sporting events is way to escape reality of stress of daily living, passionate for their home team. It’s great. They are black, white, Asian, kids, adults, grandparents, teachers, military, disabled, athletes, singles, married, I don’t care. Its like Justice is Blind and so am I.
As I said initially started for clients, employees and referrals, but all LOCAL. When I started traveling national in 2014 it went viral. The girl I was dating in 2013 and 2014, when we broke up and stayed best friends, and I said who would I bring if she wasn’t going as the Yankees chick, suggested I bring strangers. At first was 1, then 3, and then 7 and just kept growing. The most was 206 guests to 2 Yankees games, 103 each game, and it was too much for me to handle. The next week I bought 25 guest to 6 Dodgers games in a row, 2 against cubs and 4 against the Giants, and was much easier to handle. I want to get meet everyone and make new friends and believe in 2 slogans…..
Bringing this country together 1 game at a time.
We arrived as strangers, and departed friends.
What do you enjoy your free time besides sports?
See Number 4 above.
A message from the Marlins Man:
I want to add something; the FIRST RESPONDERS do NOT get enough credit. We have Memorial Day for veterans who lost their lives; we have Veterans Day for those serving in the Military. We have Presidents Day, 4th of July (Freedom Celebration Day), and Thanksgiving Day for all we gather and thank our families for them and all we have received from others and achieved.
I BELIVE SEPTEMBER 11 should be FIRST RESPONDERS DAY and a National Holiday. It’s appropriate day, its necessary and it’s proper and respectful.
And also I was SO HAPPY VERIZON did Super Bowl commercial to support the FIRST RESPONDERS
By the way, DID ANYONE REALIZE WHEN WE CALL 911 for Police and fire, ITS not only the number for First Responder help, its also SEPTEMBER 11, the most appropriate day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!