Have a cigar! Padres coach sends peace offering for 2020 HR

May 6th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- Francisco Cervelli played only 16 games in a Marlins uniform, but he quickly became a fan favorite and a part of franchise lore.

During the 2020 season, Cervelli served as the primary backstop during a stretch when Jorge Alfaro was part of the club's COVID-19 outbreak. A master behind the plate, Cervelli arguably had his greatest Marlins moment with the bat.

With the Marlins trailing the Blue Jays by three runs with one out remaining on Aug. 11, 2020, then-Toronto closer Anthony Bass delivered a 3-0 pitch that Cervelli launched over the left-field wall at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., to tie the game. Cervelli immediately knew he got all of it, jumping in the air after the bat made contact with the 93.2 mph sinker.

Though Miami went on to lose, 5-4, in 10 innings that night, the moment personified what Cervelli meant to a Marlins club that snapped a 17-year playoff drought.

Unfortunately, a concussion 12 days later not only ended Cervelli's season but also his playing career. The 36-year-old is now the Padres' catching coach, reunited with Alfaro. During batting practice Thursday prior to the Marlins-Padres series opener, Bass -- now in his second season with the Marlins -- got the chance to meet Cervelli and talk about that matchup.

"I asked him for a cigar for serving up a homer to him," Bass tweeted.

Cervelli was more than happy to oblige.