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A couple of weeks ago, I was watching my dear Kansas City Royals run through yet another team in the playoffs (we won't talk about last night) when I noticed a curious sight: Amidst a sea of blue paraphernalia, there was a lone man in neon Florida Marlins orange. And not only was he wearing the gear of a team that was nowhere near the playoffs, but he had a front-row seat directly behind the catcher.
Weird. And when I looked at Twitter, he was on the "Trending" list.
It happened again last night, much to the chagrin of Royals team officials. Once again, in the sea of blue, was Marlins Man in his neon orange jersey and hat. This time, because it was the World Series, "Marlins Man" attracted even more attention from the media.
Who is "Marlins Man"? He's a worker's compensation attorney from Florida who might just hold the record for the most playoff and championship sports games attended.
It (the Orange Jersey) All Started in 2012
While the mainstream media is covering Marlins Man like he's news -- ABC News cleverly labeled him "the 'Where's Waldo?' of the Sports World" -- the SB Nation sports blog scooped them all two years ago when Marlins Man had nearly the same seats for the Tigers v. Giants World Series.
World Series ends. I am in orange pic.twitter.com/oMT8pRof-- Marlins Man (@Marlins_Man) October 29, 2012
Amy K. Nelson snuck down to meet the Marlins Man, whose real name is Laurence Leavy. The 54-year-old lawyer told her that the jersey gimmick started as an accident: After going to a Marlins game, he wore it to a Miami Heat NBA Finals game later that day -- where everyone else was wearing white.
"I'm like 'Oh s---, I'm in orange,'" Leavy told Nelson. "And [the Heat] won, and that's how it started."
TV found me again pic.twitter.com/EnIIG4Sf7Z-- Marlins Man (@Marlins_Man) June 13, 2014
As for the lawyer part, he's obviously doing well: By his count, he's been to more than 85 World Series games, 27 Super Bowls, and more than 200 NBA playoff games, has Marlins season tickets (since the franchise was founded in 1993), and owns more than 100 thoroughbreds.
Hilariously, he told The Miami Herald that it's all made possible by his bachelor lifestyle: "I never had any kids, nor have any wife. You don't have to pay for a wife and kids, so you have money in the bank."
And though the orange jersey gimmick is only a couple of years old, Leavy's obsession with live sporting events goes even farther back.
"I've been doing this -- going to sporting events -- pretty much non-stop since 1999," he recounted. "I dated a girl for nine years who hated sports and when that ended, I started going everywhere."
Royals Be Like: Dude, Seriously?
I am not that fat. Wearing 3 layers of clothes pic.twitter.com/WnHvUMwvej-- Marlins Man (@Marlins_Man) October 17, 2014
Considering who the Royals were playing (a different orange-hued team), the organization wasn't exactly pleased that a neon orange man was the most visible part of the broadcast. According to the Herald, team officials offered a number of freebies, including a private suite, to try to convince him to ditch the jersey or wear Royals gear instead.
Marlins Man refused, of course. He did pay $8,000 for the seat, after all.