The University of Miami started a trend a year ago among football teams nationwide with its “Turnover Chain.”
The craze has crossed over into pro baseball and landed in the Miami Marlins’ clubhouse.
Standing in front of his locker a little over an hour after he hit a pivotal home run in the Marlins’ 9-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday afternoon, second baseman Starlin Castro was wearing a gold chain with a huge medallion in the shape of the Marlins’ logo.
The ‘M’ had the exact colors of the team’s logo and was lined in diamonds.
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And Castro said it’s in honor of the late Jose Fernandez.
“It’s the Jose Fernandez MVP Player of the Game chain,” Castro said.
Castro posted a picture on his Instagram account wearing the chain with the hashtag “JDF16MVPofthegamechain.”
The picture of Castro wearing the chain drew numerous comments on social media.
The Hurricanes showed their appreciation for the Marlins’ chain by tweeting a reply to the photo with a comment: “Much respect! #JDF16” along with ‘fist bump’ and ‘hands in prayer’ emojis.
This was another way for the Marlins to continue to honor their fallen former pitcher, who was killed in a boating accident on Sept. 25, 2016. The Marlins placed a plaque with the number 16 in black on the wall of one of the support beams of Marlins Park’s retractable roof on the West Plaza outside the stadium before the season. The club removed Fernandez’s locker from the clubhouse that had remained intact with his belongings during the 2017 season and gave his gear to his mother, Maritza.
The Hurricanes started giving out the chain last season as a reward to its defensive players whenever they caused a turnover.
Last week at the ACC football media days, the Canes confirmed their “Turnover Chain” will make a return again this upcoming season.
The Marlins, whose record is 44-59 as of Tuesday afternoon, said the chain will be rewarded after games to the individual they consider was the “hero of the game.”
“From now on, whoever is the hero of the game is going to wear the chain,” Castro said. “It doesn’t matter who it is, even coaches could wear the chain.”
Castro got the honor on Tuesday after hitting a three-run home run that capped a five-run fifth inning and propelled the Marlins to their fifth win in their past seven games.
The Marlins are in the midst of a rebuilding season after a number of trades involving key players in the offseason as they hope to build a consistent contender in years to come.
Will the Jose Fernandez “MVP Chain” become a staple of that future?
Only time will tell.