Opening Day extra special for Morse this year

Slugger set to debut for Marlins after growing up rooting for club

Opening Day extra special for Morse this year

MIAMI -- Opening Day will have special meaning for Michael Morse for a number of reasons. The 33-year-old not only will be part of a new team, he also will be on the team he rooted for growing up.

Morse is a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, and he was at the Marlins' inaugural game in 1993. Twenty-two years later, he will be looking to help lead the organization to the postseason for the first time since 2003.

"It's going to be a point in my career where I can actually stop and take a deep breath and take it all in," Morse said. "It's almost like coming full circle. From being in the seats to now being on the field for Opening Day is pretty neat."

The Marlins open against the Braves at 4:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Gates open for season-ticket holders at 1:30 p.m., and in general at 2 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Excitement is running high around the club, and the addition of Morse to play first and bat cleanup behind Giancarlo Stanton is one reason.

Morse's two-homer game

Morse brings championship experience, coming off winning the 2014 World Series with the Giants.

"To do what I've done in my career, and be at this point where I feel I can give the most to a team and to be able to give all the help I can to the Miami Marlins is a pretty great feeling for me," Morse said. "I'm going to give it everything I can every day."

At some point in the first couple of months, Morse is expected to receive his World Series ring. On Friday, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy sent Morse a text message.

"The text went, 'Boy, you're going to like this ring,'" Morse said. "He wished me good luck for the season. I wished him good luck. He said, 'Miami was lucky to have me.' It was pretty cool to hear that from a Hall of Fame manager."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.