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Blake Swihart posts touching tribute, in lineup day after brother’s death

Blake Swihart was in the Boston Red Sox lineup for Thursday’s Grapefruit League exhibition game against the Washington Nationals, just one day after learning of his brother’s sudden death. The Red Sox catcher also posted a touching tribute to his late sibling on Instagram.

Swihart believes his late brother would have wanted him to play on Thursday.

“Romell would have been upset with me if I didn’t put on my uniform today,” Swihart wrote in the Instagram post.

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Today was very special for myself and my family! Romell would have been upset with me if I didn’t put on my uniform today. The support of my teammates, coaching staff, and front office the last couple of days has been tremendous. To honor my brother pre game and stepping into the box with everyone of my teammates at the top step sent my emotions flowing. It was a game that whoever wasn’t playing could have already been home, but everyone chose to stay. Truly shows that we are family and will do anything for each other. I’d also like to thank all of the fans and our friends who have reached out to me and my family. The support means the world and acknowledges how special of a man Romell was! From the bottom of my heart, from my family to yours, thank you. Romell Lucky Jordan Truly the happiest kid I have ever met!He would always walk into the room with a smile and his energy so contagious! He loved loving people and that made us all better human beings. Whatever he set his mind to, whether it be sports or work, he would never be out worked. If he ever lost he’d challenge you again and again. I love you little bro, the minute you came into my life you changed it for the better and I thank you for that! I promise to take everything you have taught me and apply it everyday in life! 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.

A post shared by Blake Swihart (@blakeswihart_1) on

Romell Jordan, a former running back for the New Mexico Lobos, was found dead in his hotel room in Hobbs, N.M., on Wednesday morning. He was 23 years old.

Jordan was taken in by Swihart’s family in high school during a trying time in his life caused by family problems.

In Thursday’s game, which was preceded by a moment of silence, Swihart received a warm welcome from the fans during his first at-bat. After hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning, Swihart was removed from the game. He was met with embraces from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and his teammates in the dugout.

“Everybody was pulling for him to do something special,” said Cora, who closed the clubhouse in light of the tragedy on Wednesday, via ESPN. “It was good for him to play. He was relaxed. Obviously his mind was someplace else, but it was good for him to play.”

Swihart will return to New Mexico for Jordan’s funeral over the weekend. Given the nature of the Jordan’s sudden passing, Cora indicated the Red Sox will allow Swihart the time to mourn and can return when he’s ready.