Since the start of the 2008 season, TV icon Regis Philbin has stated that the Marlins are a team to watch.
The enthusiastic Philbin has several times talked about the Marlins during his morning show, "Live with Regis and Kelly."
A rabid sports fan, Philbin frequently picks a sleeper team in a particular sport that he tells his viewers will overachieve. A longtime Yankees fan, Philbin hasn't predicted the Marlins would win the National League East or anything, but he has told people to "Keep an eye on the Marlins." He is impressed with the young squad, which is one of the surprise teams in the game.
In return, the Marlins recently sent Philbin a package. On the June 5 episode of "Live with Regis and Kelly," Philbin noted that he heard from the Marlins. He then showed the audience an orange baseball cap with "Marlins" on it.
Co-host Kelly Ripa asked if the Marlins were recruiting Philbin, and he responded: "I told you at the beginning of the season, 'Keep an eye on the Florida Marlins.'"
Marlins vice president of marketing Sean Flynn said recently he was informed that Philbin had talked a couple of times about the team. So Florida shipped out a care package with the orange hat, a personalized Marlins jersey with the No. 1 on it and "Regis" on the back.
"There is plenty of room on the bandwagon for Regis and Kelly, and even Kathie Lee," Marlins president David Samson said. "So any time they want to film from down here and get out of that Lincoln Center studio, we'd welcome them with open arms. But only if they bring [producer Michael] Gelman."
Additionally, the team autographed a baseball for the veteran TV personality. It sent a note saying, "We feel your good karma."
The Marlins also have invited Philbin to throw out the ceremonial first pitch sometime this season at Dolphin Stadium.
As of now, Florida hasn't received a reply.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less