Officially, the New York Mets coming to play the Miami Marlins was about one team trying to make the playoffs, the other trying to get in the way of their division rival. However, the game was all about Jose Fernandez, the young pitcher who died in a boating accident two days earlier. In an occasion filled with memory, tears and cheers, Dee Gordon stood out by hitting a home run on his first at bat.
Gordon was suspended for 80 games this season due to performance enhancing drugs, the punishment coming in late April. He returned in late July, and only now, in such a eerie game of baseball, he launched his first home run of the season into the stands.
Gordon is a left-handed hitter, but in honor of Fernandez, he switched to the other side of the plate for the first pitch. He switch back to his more comfortable side for the rest of the at-bat. He managed to turn a 2-0 pitch from Bartolo Colon into his first home run of the season, and ran the bases with tears rolling down his face. The cheers weren’t as loud as they would be for most home runs. It felt weird to be too happy on this day, with all the players wearing Fernandez and number 16 on their backs, everyone choking up when they had to talk, crying at times, including the people in the TV booth delivering the game to the people at home.
Justin Bour hit his first career triple and leaped with a belly flop to make it to third. He provided a muscleman pose which put some smiles on the faces of his teammates and fans. The Mets, despite losing, needed something to smile about. Travis d’Arnaud said he saw Gordon crying after the home run, while making his way to home plate. The Mets catcher said he was crying too, and he wasn’t alone in expressing his emotions, even if the Mets are in the middle of a race to make the playoffs through the wild card game. Sometimes there’s something bigger than the game itself, even in late September.
After A.J. Ramos closed out the game by retiring Curtis Granderson in the 7-3 win, Marlins players gathered around the mound and bowed their heads, tossing their caps into the dirt and kneeled. An hour after the game, with the ballpark empty, they made another trip to the mound, this time for a more personal goodbye to the teammate they loved so much, and won’t be forgotten by anyone in the city or anyone involved in Baseball anytime soon.
— MLB (@MLB) September 27, 2016