MIAMI -- Miami Marlins All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon is a Roberto Clemente Award nominee for good reason.
Gordon, who ranks second in the National League with a .330 average and 53 stolen bases, represents the game through positive contributions both on and off the field. He embodied that spirit Tuesday night.
After seeing an elderly woman get hit by a foul ball to the head down the third-base line during the fourth inning, Gordon checked on her and brought back an autographed bat. Following the game, he gave her an autographed pair of cleats.
"She was happy and said thank you," Gordon said. "I was just glad she was alright."
Those actions didn't surprise manager Dan Jennings, who had high praise for Gordon.
The 27-year-old has already created the program "Flash of Hope" for children who have lost a parent to domestic violence. After Wednesday's batting practice, he met with kids from the non-profit organization Above .500., which "encourages the youth to live positive lives, never give up and follow their dreams."
"Dee being Dee," Jennings said. "What can you say? Forget the ballplayer side of it for a minute. Just the quality of person. Tremendous human being. I know in the conversations I have with him he's just very thoughtful, considerate, respectful. He's everything you hope your son or daughter grows up to be in terms of the quality of person. He's a delight to be around. I think that's why he's so respected by his teammates -- certainly the manager and the coaches -- and it's part of his entire package that makes Dee, Dee."
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria tracked pitches in the bullpen Wednesday and will play in a simulation game Thursday.
Hechavarria, who pulled his left hamstring Sept. 2, could return as early as Thursday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"If not, it'll be very short before he would make his return," Jennings said.
Major League Baseball honored Hall of Famer Yogi Berra after his death Wednesday. He was 90. Berra spent 19 big-league seasons with the New York Yankees and Mets, making the All-Star team 15 times and earning MVP thrice. He also managed for seven seasons over three stints between those two organizations.
Jennings met Berra and Don Larsen in 2006 at an old timer's game when the Marlins faced the Yankees.
"Just a true American icon," Jennings said. "The Yogisms that are so unique to baseball and the many Yogisms that he had that we all refer to now. 'When you get to the fork in the road you take it' and so many different things like that. To know what he meant... First of all what people don't realize is how special he was as a player and how many World Series champion players he was a part of and very instrumental in those guys attaining greatness. Just maintained his sense of humor in his love for life and baseball. It's truly a sad day for the game when someone of that magnitude departs."