MIAMI – A distraught and emotional Marlins team tried to put into words the loss of one of their own.
The team held a press conference at Marlins Park to express the sadness they all feel over the death of pitcher Jose Fernandez.
Many players and staff, including manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations, Mike Hill, were seen wiping away tears.
"Thinking about Jose, it's going to be thinking about that little kid," Mattingly said while fighting back tears. "I see such a little boy in him when he played. There was such joy in him when he played."
Marlins player Mike Dunn held up Fernandez's jersey as others spoke about what he brought to the team on and off the field.
Third baseman Martin Prado talked about hearing the devastating news.
"He made an impact on every single person on this team in different ways," Prado said while remembering Fernandez. "One of the guys told a story today that he told one of his teammates that the last game he pitched against the Nationals was his best game ever pitched, and how he's gone."
"Deep in our hearts there's a lot of pain and in some we have to overcome that," Prado concluded.
Samson brought up the enthusiasm about freedom that Fernandez felt, being a Cuban who risked coming to the country.
"You were born into freedom," Samson recalled Fernandez telling him. "You don't understand freedom, really."
Sunday's game vs. Atlanta was canceled, but Monday's home game vs. the Mets, a game Fernandez was scheduled to start, will go on as scheduled with the team believing that's the proper way to honor their fallen teammate.
"You recognize how precious life is and how taking things for granted is a fool man's game." said team president David Samson.
Samson echoed the thoughts of his team by saying Fernandez will never be forgotten.
"This is not about today or tomorrow," Samson said. "Jose is a member of this family for all time."