LITTLE HAVANA (CBSMIAMI)-It’s no secret that big changes are on the way for the Florida Marlins come April, and now the team has changed the names of the streets surrounding their new ballpark, and that’s not all.
As days go the new Marlins stadium is becoming more complete for the 2012 baseball season, and newly named roads have bridged the past with the present and future.
“This is the first step for the grand opening of the Marlins stadium,” City of Miami mayor Tomas Regalado said.
“How can you make people realize the history of where we’re standing?” David Samson, president of Florida Marlins, asked. “The first way is with the naming of the streets.”
Right in the heart of Little Havana, once home to the Orange Bowl, four new street names are merging a celebrated past with a hopeful future.
The new stadium is surrounded by Orange Bowl Way, Bobby Maduro Drive, Marlins Way and Felo Ramirez Drive.
Ramirez, the long time Cuban baseball announcer, was in attendance Wednesday to help unveil his street.
“I love that for the next 50, 100, 200 years when people are coming to this building they will have no choice but to know and understand Felo Ramirez and what he’s meant to baseball,” Samson said.
Also honored was an icon to baseball, the late Bobby Maduro, one of Cuba’s most distinguished sportsmen.
The city and Marlins Organization selected the new street names and believe they couldn’t be more perfect.
“We said Bobby Maduro is responsible for Hispanic baseball in Miami,” Samson said.
Maduro’s son Jorge Maduro was present to honor his father’s name sake street.
“We really feel that when you see Bobby Maduro you see honesty, you see love… you see courage, which basically is what baseball can bring to a city,” Jorge Maduro said.
The new stadium is expected to open on April 4, 2012.