Jeffrey Loria: Derek Jeter ‘Destroyed’ Marlins’ Ballpark by Removing HR Sculpture

Jeffrey Loria: Derek Jeter ‘Destroyed’ Marlins’ Ballpark by Removing HR Sculpture
Jack MurrayAugust 14, 2023

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 31: Derek Jeter CEO of the Miami Marlins  speaks to the media to announce loanDepot as the exclusive naming rights partner for loanDepot Park formerly known as Marlins Park home of the Miami Marlins on March 31, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Mark Brown/Getty Images

Six years after selling the Miami Marlins to an ownership group that included Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, Jeffrey Loria has some criticism for his successor.

Loria said that he takes issue with Jeter’s decision to remove the infamous home run sculpture that sat behind the center field fence at LoanDepot Park.

“Jeter came in and destroyed the ballpark,” Loria said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Destroying public art was a horrible thing to do.”

The sculpture was moved outside in 2018 and still sits there today and functions as originally intended, lighting up when the Marlins hit a home run or record a home victory.

Loria said that the sculpture represented the culture of Miami and is disappointed that it sits outside the stadium, where it will decay due to the city’s climate.

“I asked the artist about getting it back, and I told him I would help him find a new home for it,” Loria said. “He didn’t want to get involved. Now it will rot outside where it is… condemned to neglect and outdoor decay.”

Loria owned the Marlins from 2002 to 2017 and the team won the 2003 World Series during his tenure. This was the only playoff appearance the team made during his time as the owner, and his relationship with the fans was strained.

He was the driving force behind the team’s rebranding to the Miami Marlins from the Florida Marlins in 2012, and that sculpture was one of the highlighted features of LoanDepot Park when it was constructed as Marlins Park for that season. The team also switched to a more colorful uniform scheme, something the new ownership group has also moved further from in recent years.

Loria also notably was the owner of the Montreal Expos from 1999 until 2002 before the team relocated to Washington D.C. and became the Washington Nationals.

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