MIAMI — Jazz Chisholm Jr. found some competition in the speed department Tuesday night when Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc stopped at LoanDepot Park for a game between the D-backs and Marlins. Leclerc, who races for Ferrari, is in town for the Miami Grand Prix, which takes place this weekend at the Miami International Autodrome.
Before the first pitch, Leclerc played with outfielder Avisaíl García and took pictures with him, main owner Bruce Sherman and reliever Steven Okert, who is an F1 fan. Southpaw Jesús Luzardo and reliever Anthony Bender joined the group soon after. At the time of the national anthem, Leclerc was standing along the third base line with the Marlins.
It was then a meeting of the superstars, Chisholm and Leclerc exchanging equipment: Chisholm presented Leclerc with a white Marlins jersey with No. 97 (Leclerc’s birth year) and his name on the back, while Leclerc presented Chisholm a long-sleeved Ferrari jersey. with number 16 (his car number).
“That was cool, you know? said Chisholm. “By the way, I have this shirt here. It’s sick, right? I’m not as much as I used to be, but I’m the winners. I know him a little, I watch him a little, and they gave me said a week ago he was coming in. So I definitely went to see some races I saw he was really like that dude. It was really exciting to get that. I hope I will get it signed by him.”
As the Marlins took to the field for the start of the first inning, Leclerc told the crowd, “Let’s start your engines and play ball!”
“I’m impressed,” said Leclerc, who was watching his first baseball game. “It’s so big. I’ve seen it a few times on TV, never in real life. It already looks huge on TV, but even bigger in reality. Just to experience the sport. I don’t I don’t know much about it. So first experience for me tonight, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Monaco native enters the weekend at the top of the F1 driver standings. Dutchman Max Verstappen (second) and Mexican Sergio Pérez (third) of Red Bull are set to take part in Wednesday’s home final. Monday night, the Briton George Russell (fourth) went to Game 1 of the NBA playoffs between the Heat and the Sixers.
“For me, it’s amazing,” Leclerc said of Miami. “The place is amazing. It’s my first time in Miami, day one. I’ve been around town a bit, and you can see they’ve done everything to make it a huge event, as it always is in the US Americans in general are so passionate about the sport, and now to have a second week of racing, in Miami in particular, is going to be huge. so that we can have a good weekend and put on a good show for the fans.”