Emotions ran high for the Miami Marlins Monday night, and for this circumstance, crying in baseball was completely okay. The Marlins honored 24-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez just one day after his tragic passing due to a boating accident. The Marlins held a special ceremony before the game and wore Fernandez’s name and No. 16 on the back of all their jerseys, but they wore their emotions on their sleeves.
— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2016
It was Dee Gordon though who honored Fernandez in unbelievable fashion. In the bottom of the first, Gordon took the first pitch right-handed while wearing the late pitchers helmet, but what Gordon would do next will go down in Marlins history. Gordon turned on a pitch from Bartolo Colon and smacked it over the right field wall for his first home run of the season. As Gordon was rounding the bases the emotions ran high and he started crying around the base path. As he reached home he pointed up to the sky and then embraced all of his teammates in the dugout. Gordon felt that was the best way he could’ve honored his friend and teammate.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 26, 2016
The Marlins would total 14 hits on the night and score seven runs in the first three innings to take down the division rival New York Mets. Gordon finished the night with four hits, Justin Bour hit his first career triple, and starting pitcher Adam Conley tossed three shutout innings in his first appearances since having finger tendinitis that sidelined him back on August 13. Manager Don Mattingly says the team wanted to honor Jose by playing with joy and high energy just like Fernandez did.
An hour after the game ended the players gathered around the mound again to remember their friend and teammate one last time. The Marlins and Mets continue their series tonight from Marlins Park. Tom Koehler (9-12, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound for the fish and will go up against New York ace Noah Syndergaard (13-9, 2.63 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.