Remembering Jose Fernandez


Photo from the Miami Herald

Conor Coleman, Staff Writer

Dee Gordon steps up to the plate, but something is different. He is wearing a right handed batter’s helmet, but Dee Gordon bats left handed. He is wearing Jose Fernandez’s batting helmet, a teammate of Dee Gordon, who died on Sunday in a boating accident at the age of 24. Gordon is the first batter for the Miami Marlins since Fernandez’s death. Gordon wacthes the first pitch, takes off Fernandez’s old helmet, and puts on his own. Gordon switches to the left side of the batter’s box. With a count of 2-0, Gordon swings at a pitch right down the middle. The ball flies off of the bat and lands in the right field crowd, a home run. The crowd erupts as Gordon rounds the bases with tears falling from his eyes. This was Gordon’s first home run of the year, and his first since October 4, 2015. The Miami Marlins went on to win a very emotional game 7-3.

Dee Gordon was very close to Jose Fernandez. After the game, Gordon stated that “I don’t have any kids, so hitting a home run for Jose Fernandez is the best moment of my life.” Gordon also told reporters “I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in BP (batting practice),” proclaiming that Fernandez was with him during his at bat and gave him the strength to hit the home run. The Miami Marlins wore Fernandez’s #16 jersey on Monday to honor Fernandez and his many great accomplishments. Monday’s game will be the last time that any Marlins player will wear the number 16. Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, has declared that no other Marlins player will wear #16 again.

Fernandez escaped Cuba and moved to the United States when he was 15. He was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft, and 14th overall. He ended his career with a total of 76 major league starts, pitched for 471 innings, went 38-17 with an ERA of 2.58 and 589 strikeouts. Jose Fernandez was one of the MLB’s greatest pitchers and had the talent to become one of the greatest of all time. He will go down in baseball history as one of the greatest “what if” stories, a true ace taken away from the game much to early.

Rest in peace Jose Fernandez (1992-2016).