September 28, 2016
I wasn’t going to post about Jose Fernandez again today. But seriously, this game.
This one’s not only about Jose. It’s about St. Louis Cardinals shortstop, Aledmys Diaz, who last night played in his first game back from Miami, where he flew Monday to grieve with Jose’s family. Diaz and Jose were like brothers, having grown up on the same street in Cuba, and when Aledmys came to the US four years after Jose, the two remained the best of friends, brothers. Diaz’s father and uncle were instrumental in Jose’s love and development in baseball, in both Cuba and Tampa.
Last night, Aledmys returned to Busch Stadium in St. Louis to play with a shattered heart, and because this game is magic, he got up in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and hit his first-ever grand slam.
“I think the best way to honor him,’’ Diaz said, “is to play this game 100%. I would think that’s what he’d want. Every time I put on a uniform, just like I did today, I will think of him. I want to go out there the way he played baseball every day, and put my uniform on, I want to remind myself that this is a game.
“Sometimes, we forget this is a game. You have to have fun out there. That’s what he did. That’s the legacy he leaves us. He loved this game. He liked to compete. He would want us to enjoy the game like he did.
“Every time I get a chance to put on this uniform, I’m going to give everything I have.
“When you grow up in Cuba, you have nothing, and he was the American dream. He made it. Every time I put on a uniform, I will think of him.
“That’s the legacy he leaves.’’
Seriously. This game.