On Sunday, Sept. 25, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident. The Marlins game against the Atlanta Braves was cancelled for the day.

Stefan Krajisnik, Author

“There is no crying in baseball.” Anybody who has ever played baseball has heard that phrase before. Baseball players are superheroes in the eyes of children, and off the field issues should rarely be shown on the field, but on Monday, Sept. 26, that was not the case.

Miami Marlins 24-year-old star pitcher, Jose Fernandez, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez, who defected from Cuba at the age of 15, was a candidate for Major League Baseball’s Cy Young Award, which is awarded to the best pitcher each season. Fernandez was tied for fifth in wins in the National League and eighth in earned run average.

After the shocking news, the Marlins cancelled their game scheduled for that afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. Memorials were then set up around Marlins Park as well as in other Major League dugouts.

On Monday evening, the Marlins hosted the New York Mets only a day after Fernandez’s death. There was hardly a dry eye in the park. Before the game, a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was played while eight position players stood circling the pitcher’s mound. The ninth, Fernandez, was scheduled to pitch that day. Following the song, Marlins players knelt around the mound and wrote Fernandez’s initials and number into the dirt. Then something spectacular happened.

Shortstop Dee Gordon came up to bat. Normally, he bats from the left side, but instead he took Fernandez’s helmet and tried imitating his batting stance from the right side for the first pitch. After taking the first pitch, Gordon switched back to his helmet and went to his natural batting side. Gordon has hit only nine home runs his entire career, which equals about one home run every 240 at bats. Two pitches after his imitation of Fernandez, he hit a homerun. Almost immediately after, Gordon was overcome by emotion. As he cried on his way to home plate, Gordon looked up into the sky, saluting Fernandez, then embraced with his teammates as he went back into the dugout.

The Marlins defeated their rival with a final score of 7-2, but that was the least important part of the day. Afterwards, players circled the pitcher’s mound once again and said their prayers before going back into the clubhouse. The day was dedicated to a hardworking young man who lost his life way too soon. A teenager that overcame the struggles of defecting from Cuba was now a young man well on his way to becoming a baseball legend. Fernandez will not only be remembered for his stellar play on the field, but also for his great attitude off the field.