WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. took the opportunity to get some new gloves for the start of Spring Training to pay tribute to his close friend, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident last year.
McCullers picked up a specially ordered glove early Monday, the day in which representatives from Wilson came to Astros camp to deliver gloves. McCullers picked up an A2K model, which is what Fernandez used, that was Astros orange with a small pinch of blue.
"Jose was a good friend of mine, and when he tragically passed away last year, I ordered a couple of gloves through Wilson," McCullers said. "I have a couple of more coming that are some of his other models as well that I plan to use throughout the year, just to keep his memory alive.
"I think it's important. As time passes, wounds heal for a lot of people, and I think it's more fresh for some of us than others, so you just want to keep his memory alive. I'll be using it periodically during the season."
Twenty-eight players on the Astros' 40-man roster have deals with Wilson, which allows players to customize their gloves. All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve's glove was Astros orange and blue, and shortstop Carlos Correa had a pair of gloves stitched with "Team Correa" on the side -- one in print and one in cursive.
"Obviously, I customized it to the team colors and make sure it looks good, make sure the fans love it and make sure I'm comfortable using it," Correa said. "It's really awesome. You can't wait until you see it and show it off and you can go on the field and play with it. I'm a guy that loves my gloves."
McCullers said he knows there's going to be a lot of tributes to Fernandez this year, but he wanted to do his own thing. He said he has three or four more gloves coming, all a version of Fernandez's style.
"He's got a little more flare than I usually have," McCullers said. "It's all orange with a little bit of blue in there. Like I said, I have a couple of other gloves coming. One that's black with a little bit of orange on it. One that's really electric blue that used he used as well. I'll have a couple of different gloves throughout the year, maybe that I'll use in Miami and that kind of stuff for me personally.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.