by Andrew Blanchette
The sports world awoke to tragic news on September 25th. Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a violent boating accident off the coast of Miami Beach early Sunday morning. Fernandez was only 24 years old.
Jose Fernandez was allegedly in a fight with his girlfriend, pregnant with their first child, when he called some friends to go out on a late night boating trip. Although some of his Marlins teammates declined the invitation, he was able to take the boat out with his friends Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias. Around 3 a.m., the boat crashed into a jetty and all three passengers were killed. Authorities are unsure of which man was driving the boat, but there were no signs of drugs or alcohol at the site of the crash.
Teammates, friends, family and fans of Jose Fernandez were devastated by this news. The Miami Marlins immediately cancelled their game on Sunday against the Braves. Teammates of Fernandez and fellow MLB players used social media as an outlet for their devastation. Marlins infielder Dee Gordon took to Twitter, while outfielders Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton used Instagram to express their sorrow. Each post included a powerful and heartfelt message about Fernandez and everyone seemed to agree that he had a passion for both baseball and life.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, “The way he played, there’s just joy with him when he played.”
In addition to the sadness expressed on social media, tributes to Fernandez were made across the league. This week, all MLB stadiums have had a moment of silence for him and many teams have also made their own jersey with including an image of Fernandez and the number 16. David Ortiz even asked the Tampa Bay Rays to cancel his retirement ceremony scheduled before the Red Sox game in Tampa, out of respect to Fernandez. Finally, the Marlins made a video tribute for him, where every player in Monday’s game against the Mets wore a jersey with his name and number.
Dee Gordon hit a towering home run in Monday’s game and claimed that God helped him hit it for Fernandez. The Marlins all gathered on the mound after the game to celebrate the life of Jose.
Jose Fernandez’s passion for baseball and life is what he will be most remembered for.
Baseball fanatic Rob Congdon said, “It was a tragic loss to see such a young phenom go.”