Top 10 of The Decade: #7
7. Dee Gordon’s home run against the New York Mets in 2016, one day after the death of teammate Jose Fernandez.
On September 25, 2016, Jose Fernandez, an MLB All-Star and one of the games most well-liked players, passed away due to a boating accident. Players and fans alike around the league were devastated. Fernandez was only 24 years old but had established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the league.
On Monday September 26, 2016, the Miami Marlins played their first game since Fernandez’s passing against the New York Mets. Dee Gordon, the 2B of the Marlins and one of Fernandez’s closest friends, was the leadoff hitter that day. Gordon, typically a left-handed hitter, stepped into the right-handed batters box wearing Fernandez’s helmet. After seeing the first pitch from Mets’ pitcher Bartolo Colon, Gordon proceeded to switch to the left-hand side of the plate. On a 2-0 fastball from Colon, Gordon promptly smacked a homerun to the right-field bleachers and began to weep uncontrollably as he rounded the bases. As he crossed home plate, he pointed to the sky in remembrance of his good friend. It was a moment that will be forever be remembered by baseball fans around the world.
In the postgame interview, Gordon told a reporter “I don’t have kids, so hitting a homerun for Jose Fernandez is the best moment of my life.” It is in these moments where sports can truly bring everyone together. Dee Gordon’s homerun is one, as a baseball fan, I will never forget.