Not many things can make a grown man cry. The birth of a child. The loss of a significant other. Losing your job. I cried last night, and it was not for one of those reasons. I shed some tears last night watching a game I love, a game I have grown up around since I was born, a game that gives us more then we can ever ask for.
Last night, the Miami Marlins held a touching tribute for their brother Jose Fernandez who was killed in a horrific boating accident. With hopes of making the NL Wild Card, the Marlins somehow managed to play the game they love. The Marlins went on to defeat the New York Mets, who hold the first wild card spot, 7-3 Monday evening after Sunday’s matchup was cancelled. Win or lose, the players, fans, and people watching from all over will always remember this game. How can you not?
In the bottom of the first, lead off hitter Dee Gordon stepped up to bat wearing Jose Fernandez helmet while standing in the right handers batters box. After taking the first pitch, Gordon then switched to the other side of the batters box where he is a natural hitter. On a 2-0 count, Gordon pulled a Bartolo Colon pitch and hit his first home run of the season. This was not your typical every day home run. This one was special. As Gordon rounded the bases, there were tears coming down. Even Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud admitted to crying as he watched Gordon round the bases.
After the victory, the Marlins team surrounded the pitchers mound and all laid their hats, many of them with the initials JDF and number 16 written on them, on the mound as a tribute to their teammate, their brother, and a special one we all lost. Baseball fan or not, Jose Fernandez should have an impact on us all. From his upbringing, to diving into the sea to save a random persons life, which he found out to be his mother, to the enthusiasm and passion he showed on and off the field. We can all learn a thing or two from Jose Fernandez.