Miami Marlins Pay Tribute To José Fernández And Then Retire His Number For Life

No. 16.

There has been a lot to take in since the world lost one of baseball's brightest pitching stars, José Fernández.

There was the recollection of his journey of fleeing Cuba to play in the United States, the family he left behind, and the friends he lost when his boat hit a jetty on Sunday in Miami.

His extended family, aka his teammates on the Miami Marlins, were also affected by the sudden loss of the 24-year-old.

With heavy hearts, they took the field on Monday night to face off against the New York Mets for the first time without their All-Star.

Instead of wearing their own jerseys, though, the entire team wore Fernández's No. 16 and held a special ceremony for their fallen brother at Marlins Park.

"This is José's day. This is José's night, Manager Don Mattingly said, according to the Marlins Instagram account." 

Mets announcers Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen, and Ron Darling were also touched by the tributes from the Marlins, and struggled to hold back tears as they offered some condolences.

In the outfield, Giancarlo Stanton led a mini ceremony of his own, saying it was "For José, up there." Before the first pitch, starter David Phelps bent down and kissed the No. 16 inscribed on the mound to honor him.

Then, in the bottom of the first inning, Dee Gordon did something astonishing and found the power to hit his first home run of the year.

“I told the boys, if y’all don’t believe in God, y’all might as well start. I ain’t EVER hit a ball that far, even in BP (batting practice) …,” he said afterward, according to CBS Sports.

Things kept going the Marlins' way as they came out victorious, 7-3. According to ESPN, after the game, owner Jeffrey Loria said, "No one will ever wear that number again." 

Before they left the field for the night, each player on the Marlins left their cap on the mound while the crowd chanted "José, José, José, José" in the background.

R.I.P. No. 16.

You can watch the entire opening and closing ceremonies below:


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