Dominic Smith took heart from the comradeship between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins as the teams took a striking stance against racial inequality.
A day after he tearfully addressed the issue, Smith was part of an effort to bring more attention to the societal problem when the Mets and Marlins opted out of playing Thursday's game.
Rather than simply stay away from Citi Field, the Mets and Marlins observed a 42-second silence on the eve of Jackie Robinson Day, when baseball remembers the major league's first black player of the modern era and his number 42 uniform.
The teams on the field and both dugouts, who lined up with heads bowed and caps removed, observed the silence in memory of those who have died following police brutality.
Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson left a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on home plate before every player left the field, with the game officially called off.
Smith said: "Just to see how moved my peers are, my team-mates, my brothers … everyone who's close to me on a daily basis. It made me feel like we are on the right path to change."
He added, quoted on the MLB website: "What people don't understand is this is way bigger than baseball. This is life. This is humanity."
Even as he spoke a day later, first baseman Smith's emotional comments from Wednesday continued to resonate.
The 25-year-old had said then: "I think the most difficult part is to see people still don't care. For this to just continuously happen, it just shows the hate in people's heart. That just sucks, you know? Black men in America, it’s not easy."
The latest block of protests and boycotts in sport have followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake's family have said he has been left paralysed.
Brinson also spoke after the cancelled game, saying sport must make a year-round effort to show it supports communities and causes.
"It needs to be an ongoing thing," Brinson said. "We can't just have one day out of the baseball year that we bring light to everything. It needs to be Jackie Robinson Day. It needs to be the day after, it needs to be the day before."