Jose Fernandez was a 24-year old hard throwing starting pitcher that was one of the biggest faces in Major League Baseball. He was a role model on and off the field, and was always seen with a bright smile. He was on-track to have his strongest season in the big leagues since his rookie season in 2013.
Major League Baseball Players and Fans alike mourned the loss of the Cuban star on Sunday after depressing news came out about Fernandez’s death following a boating accident in Miami that killed himself, and two other friends when their boat went 30 feet in the air and crashed on some rocks.
Drafted by Miami in 2011, Fernandez tallied a 38-17 record through his four seasons in the big league. His 2.58 ERA was one of the tops in the league, and he struck out 589 batters in 471 innings pitched. His 12.4 K/9 was also tops in MLB in 2016.
In 2013, Fernandez earned the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award posting a 12-6 record and a 2.19 ERA. He was also a two-time MLB All-Star, in 2013, and most recently this past summer in San Diego.
Partnered with Giancarlo Stanton, Fernandez was one of the two cornerstones to the Marlins organization. Jose Fernandez was one of the nicest players you’d ever meet. He always brought a lot of energy and emotion on the mound, and was easily on pace for a potential Hall of Fame caliber career.
On Monday, the Miami Marlins announced that no player in the Marlins organization will wear the #16 again. Fernandez’s number will be retired by the club forever.
It is the highest honor a player can receive by a team or organization, and Fernandez truly deserves it. Having the honor and privilege of seeing Jose pitch multiple times in Philadelphia, he was truly a joy to watch on the mound. You could see the joy in his smile, in his ability, and in the way he held himself as a professional athlete off the field.
An even better story was when Jose Fernandez tried to defect from Cuba 3 times before finally having a successful attempt and making it to Florida at the age of 15. Along the perilous journey, Fernandez’s mother fell overboard when the boat they were on hit a rough patch of waves. Jose fearlessly jumped into the water to save his mother from drowning, proving the huge heart he had inside of him. He became a U.S. Citizen in 2015.
Whenever you hear about a tragedy like this, you cherish a little bit more than you did before. Jose Fernandez’s passing will forever be a reminder that life shouldn’t be taken for granted.
He may be gone from this world, but his legacy will live forever.
Rest in Peace #16, you will never be forgotten.
José Fernández: A legacy of pure joy pic.twitter.com/M2gdCzB2p0
— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2016