Tune into the World Series on FOX, and you’re likely to see a middle-aged man clad in bright orange sitting right behind home plate. Makes sense, right?
The Kansas City Royals are playing the New York Mets, whose colors are blue and orange. Except Laurence Leavy is a Florida Marlins fan, not a Mets fan, and he has been to more than 80 World Series games.
What profession, you ask, gives one man enough money to travel around to sporting events, so many in fact that he has been to an event nearly 99 percent of days since April?
He’s a lawyer.
Leavy told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that he spends about five hours a day working from his hotel room before heading out to the stadium. Leavy, who owns a law firm with 47 employees, has a job that is extremely tele-commuter friendly, leaving him time to be at almost every major sporting event in the United States, which might as well be a full-time job.
But why does he do it? Doesn’t he have a family, kids or other responsibilities to take care of?
The answer to the latter is no — he has no kids or wife. The answer to the former is a little more complicated.
He was diagnosed with liver cancer in March, and it was presumably time to start knocking things off his bucket list.
After getting a second opinion, it was determined that Leavy didn't in fact have liver cancer, just some scar tissue, he told ESPN. But the original diagnosis alone was enough to start truly enjoying life.
Leavy isn’t just living the life of every sports fan — he’s making the dreams of others possible in the process. He’s donated his seats behind home plate in New York to charity instead sitting behind the Royals dugout. He also donated $10,000 to the families of two Kansas City firefighters killed in the line of duty, then replaced his Marlins visor with one that read “KCFD” in honor of the firefighters.
The 59-year-old lawyer often encourages his more than 52,000 Twitter followers to “pay it forward” in between stopping for selfie after selfie with whoever recognizes him throughout the day.
And people do recognize him.
The video game "MLB The Show" went so far as to put Leavy in the stands at times in game. Leavy is so popular, people are dressing up as “Marlins Man” for Halloween, and he often doesn’t make it to his seat until after the game is underway because people are running him down outside the stadium.
Leavy’s fame has not come without it’s share of criticism and jealousy. Some criticize Leavy for not doing enough good or being too selfish. Others say it’s disrespectful to the teams that are playing to wear a Marlins jersey. To be fair, he is as close to a Marlins billboard as you can get.
But the Marlins won’t let him throw out of the first pitch.
For whatever reason, it seems the Marlins are reluctant to embrace him. Turning down the idea of a “Marlins Man” bobblehead night, the Florida team doesn’t even give Leavy the clothing he wears — he pays for his gear out-of-pocket.
Laurence Leavy has become a folk hero at every sporting event under the sun. And, as the "Marlins Man" says, “Go Royals.”
— Edited by Jackson Vickery