Name change: They're the Miami Marlins now
Hanley Ramirez emerged from the back of the stage, wearing a grin and a new uniform, arms raised as he basked in the first applause for a Miami Marlin.
The franchise founded in 1993 as the Florida Marlins officially changed its name Friday night in a ceremony at the team's new ballpark. The Marlins also unveiled a new logo, new uniforms and new colors - orange, blue, black and yellow.
The changes emphasize the team's move from a suburban multipurpose stadium, where attendance was poor, to a cozier ballpark near downtown where crowds of more than 30,000 are expected for every game next season.
''If our ballpark could speak, its first words would be, `Hola, Miami,''' owner Jeffrey Loria told 500 guests seated along the third-base line.
They wore hard hats because the ballpark isn't quite complete, but a large video scoreboard was up and running to show franchise highlights and the new logo. It's a block M with a sleek marlin curled above it.
Ramirez's uniform was mostly white. Josh Johnson modeled a black jersey with white pants, and Ricky Nolasco was next with an orange jersey and white pants.
When asked who was behind the design decisions, art dealer Loria said, ''Most of it was me.'' He chose the colors mindful of the ocean and South Florida's sunsets, he said.
A concert by Miami native Pitbull capped the ceremony. At 11 p.m. on 11/11/11, long lines formed when the Marlins began selling new T-shirts, jerseys, caps and other accessories.