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Written by – Yamile Chacon Leyton

Baseball to me is like that childhood friend that you lost touch with the last few years. As a young girl, I watched movie classics like The Sandlot and A League of Their Own and fell in love with the game. I went to Florida Marlins games at Joe Robbie Stadium, and made my parents buy me a lefty glove, even though I sucked. I practiced my throwing, to no avail.

I was elated in 1997 when the Marlins won that first World Series and also in 2003, even though I was living in another country. After that, we lost touch. The presence of new sports in my life made baseball take a seat on the bench, or the dugout. Soccer, basketball, even football took me away. I fell in love with The Heatles, cheered on FC Barcelona and hated loving the Miami Dolphins.

But just like every strained relationship, I thought about baseball from time to time. I tried going to a game a few years ago and could not find the same excitement I once had. I’d find myself looking at the inaugural Marlins Season poster from 1993 and wondered: what happened to us?

With the recent and sudden passing of the Miami Marlins’ young ace, Jose Fernandez, something struck inside me. Seeing the Marlins organization and the city of Miami mourn this amazing pitcher, – nay, this amazing human being – how could it not hit me in the heart?! Seeing my old friend (baseball) suffer, I had to rush over and console her. This week I have found myself watching every game. Wishing we hadn’t lost those years apart. That I could’ve experienced those Jose Fernandez years in depth and witnessed the fourteen-strike-out-games. What I know now is that you don’t turn your back on family. No matter how much time has passed, the Miami Marlins, we’re a big family, and we’re here for each other. R.I.P. Jose Fernandez (JDF16).

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