Blake Swihart and the Red Sox were alerted Wednesday that Swihart’s younger brother, Romell Jordan, had unexpectedly died.
Swihart left JetBlue Park shortly after receiving the news and did not play against the Orioles as he was originally scheduled to.
On Thursday, Swihart returned to the Red Sox to play in the team’s exhibition game against the Nationals. He went 1-2 with an RBI single in the game before flying to New Mexico for a memorial service this weekend, as reported by The Boston Globe‘s Pete Abraham. After his single, Swihart was replaced with a pinch runner and received applause from his teammates and a hug from manager Alex Cora as he exited the game.
A family moment. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LeFfkTrLog
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) February 28, 2019
Swihart posted a tribute to Jordan on Instagram Thursday:
“Romell would have been upset with me if I didn’t put on my uniform today,” Swihart wrote. “I will always remember the days where I would come home and you were already there waiting for me on my couch. I know that day will come again.”
Jordan, 23, was Swihart’s adopted brother. Swihart’s younger sister, Kacie, persuaded the family to take Jordan in when an estranged relationship with his parents and his godparents’ financial struggles left Jordan in need of a home while he attended high school, as reported by The Albuquerque Journal in 2012.
Jordan, who played running back for the University of New Mexico’s football team from 2014-2017, scored five touchdowns for the Lobos in his collegiate career.