Laurence Leavy likes to attend high-profile sporting events in high-profile seats
A breakup with a woman who didn't like sporting events pushed him to go to more games
"That was about 15 years ago, and I've been doing it ever since," he says
His presence in bright orange at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City caused a buzz online
The Miami Marlins are not playing in this year’s World Series. So why was a guy sitting behind home plate at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, in a bright orange Miami Marlins jersey at Games 1 and 2?
That mystery man is Laurence Leavy. He is the Marlins Man. And he loves watching sports in person and up close.
Leavy, 58, is a compensation lawyer who lives in Miami. He isn’t married and doesn’t have any children, giving him extra disposable income to attend high-profile sporting events in high-profile seats. He told CNN he’s been to 27 Super Bowls, and he recently told The Miami Herald that he has been to more than 200 NBA playoff games and at least 85 World Series games.
The event that triggered Leavy to start attending so many games was a breakup. He says he was in a relationship with a woman who didn’t like sporting events. “So when I stopped seeing her, I decided I’m going to start going to stuff I’m watching on TV. That was about 15 years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
He is a Marlins season ticket holder, with two seats – you guessed it – behind home plate at Marlins Park. He also has four tickets in the first row by first base. He says gives those away to his employees or strangers before games.
If you’ve been watching the World Series, you couldn’t help but see Leavy among the sea of blue in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. His presence in orange caused buzz online and on social media.
“Nobody ever noticed me when I used to wear like a Yankees hat or a Cowboys jersey or anything like that, and I used to wear Marlins teal,” Leavy said. “But in 2012, when I went to the World Series for the Giants game, people noticed me wearing an orange Marlins jersey behind the Giants bench, and that’s kind of how the whole thing started with people knowing who I am and what I did.”
But it’s different this time. More people have noticed him. His recent fame has caused a spike in his followers on Twitter. His handle, @Marlins_Man, has jumped from roughly 175 followers to more than 6,700 in the last three days.
On Thursday, Leavy said he knew he was in for a ride when he saw himself on the front page of Wednesday’s USA Today. So why is he getting noticed by so many now? Leavy said he thinks things got big because of the color contrast with the Royals blue.
Wearing an orange Marlins jersey that looks like it could glow in the dark didn’t go over well in Kansas City. Leavy said the Royals asked him to move or change clothes, and he refused. The Royals didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment, though the club has denied this happened, according to other reports.
“It’s a wonderful experience, and I’ve decided I want to keep doing this, so I am going to keep doing it,” Leavy said. “I’ve been asked a lot recently, ‘Are you going to keep doing this?’ And I said, ‘Why not?’ So I’m doing this.”
Leavy will be in San Francisco for Game 3 on Friday, although he may not be as easy to spot among the Giants’ faithful wearing orange. But keep an eye out for him. He’ll be in the second row, on the aisle, behind the catcher.
CNN’s Joe McCurdy contributed to this report.