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Marlins roll out red carpet for two diehard fans

Donna Glendenning, 66, and her 91-year old mother Eloise Card, a pair of diehard Marlins fans who have spent the last four years watching every game together on TV while talking over the phone, lived out a dream Sunday morning as special guests of the team.

MEETING JOSE: Donna Glendenning (right) and her 91-year old mother Eloise Card (middle) got a chance to meet Marlins All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez before Sunday's game. Card and Glendenning have watched every game together on TV while talking over the phone for the last four years.
The Marlins went to their homes -- Card lives in Southwest Miami-Dade and her daughter in Fort Lauderdale -- and picked them up in a limo. Then they took them to the ballpark, treated them to lunch and gave them personalized jerseys with their last names and ages on it and tickets in the Diamond Level section, two rows behind home plate.

The best part? "I got to meet Jose Fernandez," Card said. "And that made my day. He's such a nice young man. Jose is nothing like [Bryce] Harper and [Yasiel] Puig. They're low class acts. He's really top notch."

Card also bragged about getting a hug from Fernandez, the Marlins' 21-year old All-Star and National League Rookie of the Year favorite. Her and her daughter later got to present the lineup card to the umpire before the game alongside Marlins skipper Mike Redmond.

"We also got to holler 'Play ball'," said Glendenning, whose brother Jack Card was an All-American linebacker Coral Gables High and then a teammate of Steve Spurrier's at the University of Florida.

"All the players we met filled the bill. Steve Cishek, I just love him. My mother has a thing for Jose. She calls him the Tim Tebow of baseball."

Sunday's game was the first time mother and daughter actually got to watch a game together at Marlins Park. Since Saturday night's game wasn't televised, Card said she sat by her computer and watched the game online while providing updates over the phone to her daughter.

Friday, both watched intently on TV from their respective homes and spoke over the phone as Fernandez spun another gem in a win over the Nationals.

"I talk to my mom almost everyday," said Lauren Glendenning, who accompanied her mother and grandma to the game after flying in from Vail, Colo. for the weekend.

"If I call her she'll say I'm 'On the other line with grandma because the Marlins game is on. Over the years I said, 'You guys really are watching all these games together.' I just thought it was amazing."

Lauren, a graduate of Hollywood Hills High, sent the Marlins a link to a story The Miami Herald had written about her grandmother and mother's commitment to the Marlins last month. The team followed up with a phone call and invite to the park.

"I thought, 'Oh maybe they'll invite them to a game.' But I had no idea they were going to roll out the red carpet," Lauren said. "It's just been great. They're really, really generous and we've just been kind of been blown away by everything they've done for them today. They created a really special memory they'll have for the rest of their lives. I'm so happy, so grateful."