MLB Teams Pay Tribute to Jose Fernandez During Sunday Games
By Meredith B. Kile
As the baseball community mourned the loss of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez on Sunday, several MLB teams paid tribute to the young Cuban pitcher, who died at 24 after a boating accident early Sunday morning, along with two other men.
The Marlins canceled their Sunday game against the Atlanta Braves in order to help Fernandez’s teammates begin to cope with the loss. They also set up a tribute to the young pitcher on the mound at Marlins Park, and fans contributed to a makeshift memorial outside the ballpark.
A memorial for Jose Fernandez at Marlins Park: Flowers, a hat and his number on the mound.
Other teams around the league also remembered the two-time All-Star and 2013 NL Rookie of the Year with moments of silence and dugout memorials.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who, like Fernandez, defected from Cuba and made his MLB debut in 2013, hung a No. 16 Fernandez Dodgers jersey in the team’s dugout for their game against the San Diego Padres, after sharing a touching tribute to his friend on social media.
Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets also hung a Fernandez jersey in his team’s dugout for their game against the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Minnesota dugout featured a No. 16 Twins jersey as they faced off against the Seattle Mariners.
Many MLB teams, like the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers, also observed a moment of silence for Fernandez prior to their games.
Fernandez's loss wasn’t merely felt in the baseball community. ESPN analyst and former Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez opened up about how much the young ace -- who helped boost Marlins ticket sales and TV viewership numbers whenever he played -- meant to the city of Miami. The city’s NFL franchise, the Dolphins, also held a moment of silence for the pitcher before their home game against the Cleveland Browns.
See more tributes to Fernandez in the video below.
WATCH: Miami Marlins Coach Don Mattingly Reacts to Jose Fernandez's Death, Recalls 'Joy' of His Passion For Baseball