The Florida Sports Hall of Fame announced today that former Marlins great Jeff Conine will be a member of the 2015 class of inductees, joining eight other South Florida sports celebrities. The nine distinguished honorees will be officially inducted at the 2015 Florida Sports Hall of Fame Enshrinement, presented by Ultimate Software, on November 17 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. The annual enshrinement will be held in south Florida for the first time in the 54-year history of the organization.
Jeff Conine, who enjoyed a 17-year Major League career, is the only player to have appeared in the Marlins inaugural game in 1993 and both World Series victories, 1997 and 2003. Conine, who is known as Mr. Marlin, was originally acquired by the Marlins in the 1992 Expansion Draft. A two-time All-Star (1994-95), he was twice named the Marlins' MVP by the South Florida Chapter of the BBWAA (1994-95) and was MVP of the 1995 MLB All-Star Game. For his Marlins career, he hit .290 with 120 home runs, 553 RBI and a Club-record six grand slams. On the Marlins inaugural opening day he went 4-4 ending the season having played all 162 games and finishing third in the Rookie of the Year. In 32 post-season games in 1997 and 2003, Conine hit .304 with one home run, eight RBI and 15 runs scored. He is currently a special assistant to Marlins team president David Samson, and provides analysis for 'Marlins Live' pre- and postgame shows on FOX Sports Florida.
Super Bowl champion coach Tony Dungy, former Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas and Florida Panther John Vanbiesbrouck join Conine, Bennie Blades, Randy Ableman, Joey Cornblit, Paula Carter and the late voice of the Miami Hurricanes Sonny Hirsch to round out the 2015 class. Among the enshrinement activities will be a special recognition of the 2015 Hall of Fame class by the Florida Panthers at their Nov. 16 game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning at BB&T Center. The Official Enshrinement Ceremony, presented by Ultimate Software, begins at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 17. For information on tickets, please visit the Florida Sports Hall of Fame web site at www.flasportshof.org.
In addition to recognizing the state's most outstanding athletes, coaches and teams, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame is a leader in educating Florida's youth on the importance of fitness in the fight against childhood obesity and diabetes. Through its "Fame of Fitness" program the Florida Sports Hall of Fame is telling the inspirational stories of its members as a way to encourage Florida's youth toward a healthier, happier life through their involvement in sports.