You couldn’t write a script any better.
The tragic death of Jose Fernandez Sunday morning rocked the sports world, and the Miami Marlins, not surprisingly, canceled their game that afternoon. When they took the field Monday for the first time since his passing, every player on the team wore a No. 16 Fernandez jersey.
When leadoff man Dee Gordon, who is left-handed and was among Fernandez’s closest friends on the team, stepped up to the plate for the team’s first at-bat, he took the first pitch from the right side of the batter’s box as a tribute to Fernandez.
After the pitch, which was a ball, Gordon swapped his right-handed helmet out for his traditional left-handed one and stepped back to his usual side of the plate. Another pitch went by, then Gordon crushed the third pitch over the right field wall.
Gordon is in tears by the time he touches home plate, and his teammates quickly embrace him as he enters the dugout.
It was the first home run of Gordon’s season, and just the ninth of his six-year career.
After the game, the Marlins gathered at the pitcher’s mound, prayed in a circle and tossed their hats onto the mound in tribute to Fernandez. Meanwhile, a “Jose Jose” chant broke out among the Miami crowd.
Even before the game, New York Mets broadcasters had a tough time controlling their emotions when talking about the circumstances.
Sure is dusty in here.