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When the Miami Marlins take the field Monday night, their first game since the death of star pitcher Jose Fernandez, they’ll have his No. 16 with them.
That’s because the Marlins have coordinated a team-wide tribute to Fernandez for their game against the New York Mets — they’ll all wear his No. 16 jersey. That’s according to Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald. That tribute is, in a word, perfect.
The team gathered Sunday after the news of Fernandez’s death, at the all-too-young age of 24, shook the sports world. They mourned as a team, stood unified at a tearful team press conference and took turns remembering Fernandez in front of the No. 16 the Marlins had painted on the pitcher’s mound.
Numerous Marlins (and ex-Marlins) shared remembrances of Fernandez on social media, like these from Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton.
I'm still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can't quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming. What he meant to me , our team, the city of Miami, Cuba & everyone else in the world that his enthusiasm/heart has touched can never be replaced. I can't fathom what his family is going through because We, as his extended Family are a wreck. I gave him the nickname Niño because he was just a young boy Amongst men , yet those men could barely compete with him . He had his own level, one that was changing the game. EXTRAORDINARY, as a person before the player. Yet still just a kid, who's joy lit up the stadium more than lights could. A kid whose time came too soon. One that I will miss & never forget. Rest In Peace Niño, Jose Fernandez ????????
A photo posted by Giancarlo Stanton (@giancarlo818) on Sep 25, 2016 at 10:16am PDT
My brother. You were family to me…my heart is hurting wishing you would just burst through the clubhouse doors any second now late like always laughing telling me how many red and yellow snapper you caught last night…you were always happy and kept the biggest smile on your face…you may have rubbed people who didn't get to know you the wrong way at times but I always had your back no matter what and didn't never let you get in any of those brawls…last Sunday when you came to chapel with me is crazy now bc you said you needed to go…you just told me that your last game was "the best game I ever pitched in my life" and it was your last…I don't know if God was calling you last Sunday and made you decide to come to chapel or helped you pitch your best game but I do know I love you and I'm so hurt to see my brother go…I know I'm being selfish but you weren't just a teammate to me…you were family…I love you Josey!!! Long Live YOU FOREVER!!!! Rest In Peace my brother I hope you and God catch the biggest fish heaven has to offer. #JDF16FOREVER
A photo posted by Dee Gordon (@deeg5599) on Sep 25, 2016 at 10:13am PDT
It will undoubtedly be a tough return to baseball in Miami on Monday night. But No. 16’s presence will be everywhere.
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