Remembering José Fernández

Matthew Leto, Sports Editor

Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins’ number one pitcher, died early Sunday morning in a boating accident off the coast of Miami Beach. Authorities found Fernandez’s 32 foot boat around 3 a.m, in the rocks and turned over.

Fernandez, 24, was on his way of finishing his best major league season to date, going 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA. In addition, he had made his second all-star game.

Fernandez not only impacted the game of baseball but, he represented the entire Cuba community. Marlin’s park is located in “Little Havana”, Fernandez meant a lot to the community surrounding the ballpark. When Fernandez took the mound the attendance in the stands nearly doubled.

Fernandez as a young boy, tried to escape Cuba 3 times before Fernandez officially defected. On the final attempt, at 15, Fernandez jumped in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico to save his mother from drowning after falling overboard.

As an American, who’s grandparents made the risky journey of traveling from Cuba to Miami in a raft, it was surreal to understand Fernandez’s story. Here’s a cuban born baseball player who impacted not only the game of baseball but, also impacted the entire community of Cubans throughout the country.

Fernandez met so much to his own teammates. Dee Gordon batted in the right side of the batter’s box with Fernandez ‘s batting helmet and took a pitch. Gordon than switched sides to left side of the batter’s box and slammed a home run into the stands. Gordon rounded third fighting back tears, then pointed at the sky for Fernandez as he crossed home plate. It was Gordon’s first home run of the season.

Giancarlo Stanton fought back tears during his time in right field during the first few innings. At the end of the game, every Marlin placed their game worn caps onto the pitching mound, as a final farewell to not only their teammate but, their brother.

Fernandez will be missed, a man who’s life was cut short at the age of 24. Fernandez could have easily been a top 15 pitcher of all time. It makes you truly understand how precious life really is and not to take anything for granted. I know Fernandez took nothing for granted, the way Fernandez lived his life with so much emotion is truly inspiring.

Thousands gathered around Marlins park to remorse in the tragedy of Jose Fernandez. Maria Arias, the girl friend of Fernandez grieved at the memorial services. Arias is currently pregnant with Fernandez’s child.

Junior John Pezzo weighed in on the tragic death of Jose Fernandez.

“Jose Fernandez was one of the most promising pitchers in the league,” Pezzo said. “In a blink of an eye, he was gone.”

 

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