Thursday, February 15, 2018

Miami Marlins Have One Of Baseball's Most Emotional Moments Ever

Fate can be a heck of a thing.

It can be tragic, like ending the life of one of Major League Baseball's most promising prospects.

It can be beautiful, like the scene that unfolded at Marlins Park on Monday, September 26, 2016.

Either way, in what was one of the most emotionally jarring weekends in baseball history, fate, some might say, played a role in creating one of the most memorable moments in sports history.

SHARE this on Facebook for all of the baseball friends in your life.

Defected from Cuba at 15, became an American citizen at 22.

Jose Fernandez's story was inspiring. I say inspiring, but that word doesn't do his story justice. It was more than that overused word. It was heroic in many ways. It was the embodiment of the American Dream and of the immigrant's struggle. Particularly the Cuban immigrant.

"He defected from Cuba three times. The first two times he got arrested. The third time he almost made it but they turned him around... The fourth time, at night on the dark seas, in high waves, he heard a splash. So somebody was overboard and he said 'I'm going to save them.' He jumped in. And Fernandez, all of 15 [years old], decided that he was best equipped to save whoever it was," explained the narrator during a Marlins broadcast.

The person who went overboard ended up being Fernandez's mom.

"They made it to Mexico then flew to Miami and the rest is history."

Gone at 24.

The Major League Baseball world was reeling this week after the tragic death of young pitching phenom Jose Fernandez. Fernandez, 24, and two of his friends died in a tragic boating accident at the entrance of the Miami Harbor, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Lorenzo Veloz. 

The WCC determined that the boat hit the rocks at full speed. Depending on the model of the boat, that could have been anywhere between 50-65mph.

"The magnanimity of his personality transcended culture, religion, and race, I mean it just did," — Marlins President, Dave Samson.

As expected, the team's first game back from the tragedy was, well, emotional. It was everything great about baseball, brotherhood, community, and sports.

Before a pitch was thrown, players, all wearing Fernandez jerseys, knelt around the pitching mound, paying their respects to the number 16 painted onto the backside of the mound. To chants of "Jose, Jose, Jose," Giancarlo Stanton led an emotional pre-game speech for his reeling team.

“We'll all come together and help each other out. We’re going to do this somehow. Just put your hand on somebody if somebody is struggling, pick them up. And we’re going to find a way to do this. I love all you guys.”

"I'm struck by the magnitude of the emotion out there..." — Keith Hernandez, former New York Mets 1st baseman turned Mets broadcaster.

Little did Hernandez know, the magnitude of the emotion in the stadium was about to reach unprecedented levels.

Up steps Dee Gordon. First batter. First inning.

It was a script made for Hollywood that once again proves reality is stranger — and in this case, more emotional — than even the best fiction. Gordon, wearing Fernandez's helmet, took the first pitch of the game from the right-side of the plate as a tribute to his lost friend, before returning to his natural side. 

The count was 2-0.

The third pitch was an 85mph ball down the center of the plate.

The ball cracked off the sweet part of Gordon's bat.

A no-doubter to right field.

The ball sailed over the wall in right field, 335 feet away. A Cuban flag hung from the front row of seats in the outfield as the scattered fans threw their hands into the air.

"It's gone! Dee Gordon has hit it out and the Marlins have a one to nothing lead," yelled the Marlins play-by-play announcer.

The Marlins bench was ecstatic, slamming on the foam on the top fence of the dugout.

Gordon, rounding second, was overcome by emotion.

The video of Gordon's home run is on the next page...

A swarm in the dugout.

"Way to go, Dee!" the Marlins yelled as they hugged their distraught teammate.

There's not much I can write that would truly capture how special this moment was to Gordon, the Marlins organization, or the baseball world, so why don't you just scroll down and watch the video for yourself.

The biggest home run of Gordon's life.

Get the tissues ready...

And then this happens...

In what might be the most fitting way to end the story of Jose Fernandez, a bag of baseballs signed by Fernandez himself washed ashore on Miami Beach, just 20 blocks from the site of the accident.

What a fitting final pitch.


Author: verified_user