Major League Baseball fans, players, coaches, and managers woke up to the terrible news early Sunday morning that Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a tragic boating accident. There are no words that can adequately describe shock and sadness that is felt by the Miami Marlins organization as well as the entire baseball world.
The loss of Fernandez just reminds us all of how short life is. The importance of enjoying every single day as if it was your last day on this earth. Fernandez was only 24 years old when he passed away this morning, yet it strikes a core as to how young Fernandez was and how much of an impact he had on those around him in his life.
When to think about and remember Fernandez, you think about the passion in which he pitched with. We reflect on the fire he had on the mound and as well as the competitive spirit he brought to the mound each day he started. We think about the way he carried himself and his genuine personality in which he shined as a beacon of light for the Miami Marlins and Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball has a great abundance of young talent in the game right now. Players such as Mike Trout of the Los Angeles of Anaheim, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, and Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins are the reasons why baseball has such a promising and exciting future head.
The passing of Fernandez is such a major blow to Major League Baseball not just because he was arguable the top young pitcher in the game, but because of what he has meant to South Florida, and as well to the city of Miami. Fernandez’s impact was far greater than the game itself. His impact was felt arguably the most in the Cuban community in Miami where his story of his defection from Cuba is well chronicled. Fernandez had attempted to defect from Cuba three times and was imprisoned three times for his actions. Fernandez successfully defected the fourth time as he arrived in Mexico in 2008.
One story from his defection that emerged that would ultimately symbolize his determination and indomitable spirit is how he saved his mother from drowning at sea while defecting from Cuba. Fernandez ability to be selfless even in trying moments and times is the real mark of a man who loves, passion, and spirit was felt and received by everyone who had met him and had the privilege to get to know Fernandez.
Sunday is a terrible day for Major League Baseball and its fans. The loss of Jose Fernandez cannot be put into words nor can his impact on the game and his community be fully measured. At this time, we all mourn the tragic loss of a great pitcher but more important, a great man whose spirit and selflessness will forever be missed terribly by those who had the chance to witness it firsthand and also had a relationship with him.
I would like to personally send my condolences to Jose Fernandez’s family, friends, teammates, and the Miami Marlins organization.