Last night was one of the most surreal moments in MLB history. The Miami Marlins found the courage to play their game against the New York Mets just one day after learning they lost not only a teammate, but a best friend. To honor José Fernández’s memory, every member of the Marlins was wearing a number 16 Fernaández jersey, ones which Majestic Athletic worked overtime on Sunday to make them before flying to Miami on Monday to hand deliver them to the team.
But it wasn’t just the honoring of José on the jersey; it is what the Marlins did on the field that will leave a lasting memory.
Dee Gordon, who loved José like a brother, had this to say after the game.
Watching that ceremony pre-game, when the crowd is usually making some noise, the music is playing, and the players are getting ready, was chilling. There was a moment of silence before the game. There was a teary-eyed Giancarlo Stanton warming up in right field, and there was the touching moment of the trumpet playing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” Nothing will compare to the moment that Gordon donned José’s batting helmet and stepped in the box right handed to honor his fallen friend before taking the next pitch 400+ feet deep to right. Watching him trot around the bases and letting his emotions show made me tear up a bit. It was what baseball needed after such a tragedy.
So for one night, there was crying in baseball and everyone in the country was a Marlins fan..