Former Marlins All-Stars pitch in for opening ceremony

Former Marlins All-Stars pitch in for opening ceremony

MIAMI -- The Marlins connected their past with their present on Monday during an innovative "around-the-horn" ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Marlins Park.

Six former All-Stars with the organization chipped in to toss the ball around the infield before the Marlins and Braves got underway at 4:22 p.m. ET.

Marlins Park has been awarded the 2017 All-Star Game. To recognize the occasion, former Marlins All-Stars Carl Pavano (pitcher), Charles Johnson (catcher), Mike Lowell (third base), Luis Castillo (second base), Alex Gonzalez (shortstop) and Jeff Conine (first base) handled first-pitch duties.

The twist was Pavano threw off the mound to Johnson, who tossed to Lowell, who hooked up with Castillo, who flung the ball to Gonzalez, who went across the diamond to Conine.

The six All-Stars put the finishing touches on an entertaining pregame. Jon Secada sang the anthem as a giant American flag draped the field. The fans loudly cheered the military flyover on a sunny afternoon where the roof was open at Marlins Park.

Player introductions also had a unique twist. Boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer handled the introductions, with the players entering the field after winding their way through the stands.

Buffer capped the ceremonies by giving his trademark "Let's get ready to rumble!" chant.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for 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.