MIAMI (CBSMiami) – One Miami man is notorious for crashing prime time sporting events. Whether it’s the Kentucky Derby or the NBA Finals, people can expect the orange-clad “Marlins Man” to be there.
Laurence Leavy, 58, has been the center of attention at the World Series. His bright orange Marlins jersey and visor were spotted behind home plate at Kauffman Stadium for games one and two between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants.
The eye-popping Marlins regalia drew the ire of the Kansas City front office.
“The owner of the Royals was extremely upset that I was there,” Leavy told CBS4’s news partner the Miami Herald.
According to Leavy, he was offered free World Series swag to change his clothes. When that wasn’t enough, they offered him a private suite.
Leavy paid $8,000 for his home plate seat and nothing was going to sway him from being front and center of the action.
A Royals spokesman told the Miami Herald no one asked him to leave his seat or to take off the jersey.
Regardless of who said what, the Marlins loved every minute of the exposure.
“I think it’s great,” said P.J. Loyello, vice president of communications and broadcasting for the Miami Marlins. “He’s one of our loyal season-ticket holders. He’s definitely easy to pick out with that jersey. It’s fun to pick him out. It’s reached a point where we expect to see him at games now. It’s fun. It’s sports.”
By the Marlin Man’s count, he has been to 27 Super Bowls, more than 200 NBA playoff games, and at least 85 World Series games, and many Triple Crown horse races.
Besides being a Marlins ticket holder since 1993, Leavy owns more than 100 thoroughbreds, and rarely misses a Miami Heat or Dolphins game.
“I never had any kids, nor have any wife,” Leavy said. “You don’t have to pay for a wife and kids, so you have money in the bank.”
The worker’s compensation lawyer has offices in Davie and in Jacksonville, and said he works on the road a lot.
But working away from home lets him take some crazy trips.
One of his craziest escapades included visiting 16 cities in 18 days.
It started in May when Marlins took on the Padres in San Diego. He followed that up with the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. Leavy then flew to Indianapolis to catch Heat-Pacers, followed by Thunder-Spurs in San Antonio the day after that, back to Indianapolis for Heat-Pacers. That went on and on.
“It was the coolest thing,” he said.
Leavy wouldn’t declare how much he has spent; only saying “It’s a lot of money.”
The spotlight has only recently been on Marlins Man, even though he has been doing this for years.
“Nobody noticed me when I wore a Cowboys shirt,” he said. “Nobody noticed me when I wore a Heat jersey.”
But in 2012 the Marlins changed their uniforms from black and teal to orange and black. Leavy’s new duds made him instantly recognizable.
While in San Francisco for the World Series two years ago, Leavy was rocking his new Marlins gear. He decided to go down to the Golden Gate Bridge to snap pictures of the landmark. A couple of park rangers spotted Leavy and drove up to move him away from the dangerous cliff.
“One of the guys goes, ‘Aren’t you the guy we’ve been watching on TV behind home plate?’” Leavy recalled. “And the other guy says, ‘He’s the Marlins Man!’”