Jose Fernandez left the baseball world in mourning. On Sept. 25, 2016, the pitcher died in a boating accident. He was only 24 years old, and his baseball career was flourishing. Moreover, Fernandez and his girlfriend, Carla Mendoza, were expecting a baby.
The day of September 25 will remain in the history of sports as a black day. The announcement of Fernandez’s death saddened baseball fans, especially those who support the Miami Marlins.
A Happy Kid Pursuing His Dream
Fernandez was born on July 31, 1992, in Santa Clara, Cuba. He started his baseball career being encouraged by the father and uncle of the MLB shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who was his childhood friend and neighbor.
The pitcher started his professional career in 2011 when he signed with the Marlins. However, he played in the minor league till 2013. Then, according to Baseball Reference, he was the second-youngest player of the National League season.
He debuted with the Miami Marlins in April 2013, against the New York Mets, and he made a good impression. For example, only six weeks later, the manager of Tampa Bay Rays, Joe Maddon mentioned that Fernandez looked like the best young pitcher. Moreover, at the end of the season, he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
The 2014 season he suffered an injury that kept him away. However, by 2015, he recovered and seemed in a great form. According to The Miami Herald, the baseball player became the first pitcher to have 17 consecutive home wins, since 1900.
At the Top of His Career
His last season began on July 1, 2016. As a result of that game against the Atlanta Braves, he became the second pitcher to produce a game-winning hit in Marlins’ history. A few days later, Fernandez appeared in the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, not knowing that it will be the only Midsummer Classic that he would ever attend.
His last game took place on September 20. As CBS Miami stated, at the end of the match, he declared that it was the best game he ever pitched. However, Fernandez enjoyed baseball at any moment. He worked hard, but he also had fun. As he affirmed, Fernandez was competitive while having fun.
I compete like crazy. That is just the person I am. I like to have fun. I want for people to say he was always having fun. I want people to say he was a hard worker, that he’s not going to give up. That’s all I can ask. Baseball is my life. It’s just fun to come out on the field and to do what your dream is. Sometimes we forget that.
A Heartbreaking Loss
On September 25, Fernandez died in boating crash and left the baseball world in mourning. However, not only will the sports society miss him but also his family and friends. Besides being one of the best pitchers of the moment, he was a happy person and a soon-to-be father.
The Marlins’ pitcher had an incredible connection with his grandmother. He had a tattoo with her name, and one of his biggest dreams was that she would see him pitch.
Moreover, Fernandez announced just a week before he died that his girlfriend was pregnant. “I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together,” mentioned the baseball player in a message shared on his Instagram account.
Gone Too Soon
Thousands of friends, fans, teammates and managers shared grieving messages on social media. One of the most heartbreaking notes was the one written by Dee Gordon. The Marlins’ infielder, who considered Fernandez his brother, recalled some of the wonderful moments spent together.
Every team in the MLB honored the memory of Fernandez. The football team Miami Dolphins paid their respects with a moment of silence. Moreover, on September 26, the entire team of the Miami Marlins will wear Fernandez’s number, 16, in their first game without the pitcher.
Fernandez’s death occurred on September 25, leaving the whole sports’ world in mourning. He was a happy, loving, young man, and a baseball player with one of the most promising careers ahead of him. However, there is a saying that perfectly applies. According to it, unfortunately, “the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest.”
He is one of the athletes that will always remain in the hearts of every sports fan, while his family and friends may never manage to get over his death.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Cathy Milne
Baseball Reference: 2013 National League Awards, All-Starts, & More Leaders
CBS Miami: Prado: Fernandez Told Teammate His Last Game Was His “Best Ever”
Hollywood Life: Jose Fernandez: His Final Loving Words To Pregnant Girlfriend Before Tragic Death
Sun Sentinel: Jose Fernandez falters as Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals beat Marlins, 5-4
Sun Sentinel: Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys Monday night to honor Jose Fernandez
Tampa Bay: Jose Fernandez, Marlins ace and Alonso High grad, dies in boat crash (w/ video)
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Arturo Pardavila III’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Corn Farmer‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License