Monday, September 26

Dee Gordon Hits Home Run In Emotional First At-Bat After His Teammate's Passing

The Miami Marlins and the baseball world as a whole received terrible news yesterday morning when the team's ace Jose Fernandez died at the age of 24 from a boating accident. Fernandez just exuded happiness – you couldn't help but smile watching him play. He tried four times to defect from Cuba to the United States, getting caught and put in jail after the first three. He was on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer. The world lost a great player and an even better human being.

And yet, as sports can sometimes cruelly remind us, life goes on. Just a day after getting this news, the Marlins, who are still technically not out of the playoffs, took on the New York Mets, who are also technically not out of the playoffs. The entire Marlins roster is donning #16 jerseys in Fernandez's honor, and the organization has said it will retire the number. 

Mourning his fallen teammate, Miami's Dee Gordon wore Fernandez's batting helmet and batted right-handed for the first pitch of the team's first at-bat since Fernandez's death. He then put on his own batting helmet and moved to the left side of the plate...and promptly hit a home run to right field. The tears started streaming as he rounded the bases, and pointed towards the sky after crossing home plate.

It's a spectacular moment, and even more incredible when you consider that prior to this, Gordon had hit a home run once every 269 at-bats. They're not common for him, but sometimes you're playing with the wings of a teammate on your back.

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