A New Ferrari and 15 Racehorses: How Marlins Man Is Spending His Time (and Money) Away From the Stadiums
Watching a game without any fans is strange for all of us, but for one superfan, it has changed his everyday life.
Laurence Leavy, a lawyer from Miami, Fla., has become a fixture in ballparks around the world. Known as “Marlins Man” for the bright-orange Miami Marlins jersey and visor he dons to every game, Leavy has grown into a sports-lebrity over the past five years. Watch almost any pitch in a big ballgame and you’ll see the following: Pitcher-Catcher-Umpire-Marlins Man. As bizarre as it sounds, it is now an accepted part of the sports-watching experience.
Until now, of course.
The pandemic has kept every fan, no matter how famous, out of stadiums for the foreseeable future, but teams are offering supporters the opportunity to make their presence known, whether through cardboard cutouts or on the scoreboard.
Marlins Man didn’t want to miss out, so he made an offer to all 30 Major League Baseball teams to put an image of himself in his usual position in ballparks across America.
Leavy, who has become a mainstay at sporting events around the country, told The Action Network on Tuesday that he sent emails to the teams, saying that he would pay $1,000 — at least three times the going rate — to have his face in view behind home plate.
Two teams, the Oakland A’s and the Kansas City Royals, have said yes so far. The Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians have said no, Leavy said. The Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies told him they aren’t doing cutouts, while the New York Yankees are sold out.
“I wasn’t going to do it,” Leavy said. “But I’ve literally had hundreds of people reach out to me asking me where I am.”
Leavy, a 63-year-old owner of a law firm that specializes in worker’s compensation cases, started gaining fame in 2014 as he started traveling around the country to premium sporting events, including the Western Conference and the World Series. “The Marlins sucked, the Heat sucked, the Panthers sucked and the Dolphins sucked,” Leavy said. “So I had to go on the road to have fun.”
During the baseball season, over the past two seasons in particular, he is typically at 28 games a month. “I’ve pretty much just gone home to change clothes,” he said.
Leavy lives the bachelor lifestyle, bringing dates to games, but also giving out tickets to fans he meets along the way. In 2019, he says he gave out more than 2,000 tickets.
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Leavy says he loves the sport of baseball but it’s much harder to watch from his home in Miami. “It’s not the same on TV,” he said. “I’m bored to be honest. I love the crowd, the sounds, the smells, there’s places to look every minute. At home it’s just sitting and waiting.”
So what has Marlins Man done with all his savings from not having to pay for tickets?
“I bought a Ferrari and I added 15 more racehorses,” he said. “But it doesn’t replace baseball. So I added a Ferrari to my Bentley and my Mercedes and I added 15 more racehorses to bring my total to 80.”
Those new possessions haven’t filled the void for America’s omnipresent fan.
“I miss being at the game.”