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Remembering Jose

Remembering+Jose

Photo courtesy of Arturo Pardavila III via Flickr.com

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez tragically died on Sunday, Sept. 25. His death is one that will be remembered for years to come by Miami, by Major League Baseball, and by sports in general. The details surrounding his death have yet to be released at this time. What we do know is that a boating accident caused the death of two others, along with Fernandez, off the Miami coastline.

Everyone in baseball knows how important Fernandez was to the game. He was Miami’s brightest young player, their best player, and a leader in the clubhouse. He played the game like his age – young. He was always emotional, a “happy as can be” kid because he was throwing a baseball every fifth day. His personality rubbed-off on everyone: there are countless videos and pictures of Fernandez messing around with his teammates, being loose, and even having fun with the opposing team. He had the perfect blend of talent and personality that you wanted in the clubhouse.

To feel the effect, just look on Twitter at the outpouring of emotion from other players such as Boston Red Sox first basemen David Ortiz, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, and especially Marlins infielder Dee Gordon. Look at how his death resulted in the Miami Marlins to cancel their game on September 25th.  Look at how every single MLB game on Sept. 25 took a moment of silence before the game. The loss of Fernandez  officially changed the game.

Fernandez was arguably one of the top five pitchers in the game, and his career just began. He experienced success and adversity early—after undergoing surgery, he came back better than ever. Who knows how great he could have been in the prime of his career. In my opinion, he would have been the greatest pitcher in baseball, and rivaled Clayton Kershaw for the greatest of our generation.

Just some tid-bits to put Fernandez’s talent in perspective:

 

  • Two-time All Star, in 2013 and 2016
  • 2013 NL Rookie of the Year
  • Marlins record 253 strikeouts this year
  • Successfully came back from Tommy John surgery

 

Fernandez was arrested in Cuba three times for trying to defect to the United States, and he successfully made it out on the fourth try. He has also served as the sports icon and national symbol in Miami, which has a strong and affluent Cuban population.

What makes his death even more heartbreaking is that he also posted a photo last week that his girlfriend is pregnant.  He was 24 years old.

Rest In Peace Jose, you will surely be missed.

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Remembering Jose