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One day after Jose Fernandez’s tragic death, the Miami Marlins took the field against the New York Mets hoping to pay tribute to one of baseball’s brightest talents and biggest personalities.
With Fernandez’s death still fresh on the minds of every single Marlins player, it proved to be an emotional event.
During pregame ceremonies, the entire Marlins team, clad in their No. 16 jerseys, met at the mound and knelt down around it.
Cannot imagine what these players are feeling.
(all these screenshots are from the Marlins TV broadcast) pic.twitter.com/Vsfoc72wPZ
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) September 26, 2016
The team then gathered together as outfielder Giancarlo Stanton spoke to his teammates while fighting back tears.
Giancarlo Stanton “we’re going to find a way to do this” pic.twitter.com/cpytP1HTGS
— Stacey Pressman (@slp1313) September 26, 2016
Shortly after the pregame ceremony had ended, the Mets walked over to embrace the Marlins players on the field.
When it came time for the starting lineup announcements, the Marlins’ position players surrounded the mound.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 26, 2016
The club’s relievers, who would usually begin the game in the bullpen, waited until the top of the first inning to head out there in order to be with their teammates.
Marlins relievers waited till after the top of the first to head to the bullpen, high-fiving teammates who came off the field.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 26, 2016
With that, the team took the first for the first inning of the contest. Many players, including Stanton, were weeping as they played catch prior to the start of the top of the first, and throughout the inning.
That emotion carried over to Miami’s first at-bat of the game, as Dee Gordon hit a solo home run to right field, and broke down in tears as he crossed home plate.
Over the next two innings, the Marlins continued to hit. The club tacked on four more runs in the second, and an additional two runs in the third. That proved to be more than enough, as the team came away with the 7-3 win.
At the center of the Marlins’ performance was Gordon. The second baseman went 4-for-5 during the contest, with one run scored and two RBI. He also supplied fans with one of the most uplifting highlights in sports history.
Following the game, the Marlins stood in a circle around the pitcher’s mound with their arms intertwined, paying tribute to Fernandez.
Marlins gathered in prayer after the game. Mets watching from the dugout. Fans chanting “Jose” over and over. pic.twitter.com/EN5kJgsN48
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) September 27, 2016
Once that was finished, every player took off their caps and placed them on the mound.
All of the Marlins leave their caps on the mound as they leave the field.
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) September 27, 2016
When the park had cleared, and barely anyone else remained in Marlins Stadium, the Marlins returned to the mound one final time.
Marlins Park nearly empty, Jose Fernandez’s teammates have returned to the mound. pic.twitter.com/zrJxrrWcmk
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 27, 2016
Prior to the contest, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria announced the franchise would retire Fernandez’s No. 16. After Monday’s game, no Marlins player will wear No. 16 again.
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