In their official club literature the Marlins bill David Samson as "the first active team president to complete the Ford Ironman World Championship Triathlon." Last Friday evening, after Samson, 44, spent nearly 12 hours running 52.4 miles—a double marathon—from Pompano Beach to the Marlins' new ballpark in Little Havana, he also likely became the first team president to dry heave and receive four IV bags of fluids in his own ballpark.
Samson (below) ran to honor the 5,000 workers who built Marlins Park, raising over $550,000 for various charities. And upon arriving at the finish line—the new park's home plate—he was greeted by workers who lined up to offer him low fives, and by the Marlins' typically blunt manager. "Ozzie Guillen said I was stupid—but great to raise so much money," Samson recalls. "To be honest, things get a little hazy. I don't remember everything."
One thing of which he needed no reminding: Miami's slow start. After Samson crossed home plate last Friday, the Marlins (third to last in MLB runs) failed to match the feat even once. Their 5--0 loss to the Diamondbacks was their sixth straight defeat, putting them in last place in the NL East. Says Samson, confident of a climb from the NL basement, "I don't think they need me to run a double marathon to get them going."