On the morning of September 25, the devastating news struck the baseball world. Jose Fernandez, one of the game’s brightest young stars, passed away tragically in a boating accident. After a night out in Miami, Fernandez and his friends decided to go boating very early in the morning. According to Andy Slater of 940 AM WINZ, the boat hit rocks going full speed before landing upside down. The incident killed all three men on board.
Fernandez’s legacy will never be forgotten on the baseball diamond. At only 24 years old, Fernandez was already one of Major League Baseball’s most dominant pitchers. In 2013, Fernandez was recognized for his dominance by winning National League Rookie of the Year. In 2016, he overcame Tommy John surgery and was lighting up opponents in a strong campaign. He threw a scorching fastball and his curveball made hitters whiff at the air. The Miami Marlins truly had a gem on the mound.
However, his impact on the game of baseball is only part of the legacy he will leave behind. Fernandez was known by his family, friends, and teammates as a person filled with joy and compassion. He tried to live his life to the fullest and wanted to take others on his journey to happiness. He put the feelings and emotions of others in front of his own. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, on Fernandez’s fourth try to escape from Cuba, someone fell overboard on the boat. Without hesitating, Fernandez jumped into the water to save this person. This person turned out to be his mother without him realizing it. This story shows Fernandez’s selfless concern for others.
Through all this tragedy, a ray of sunshine appeared in Miami on September 26, one day after Fernandez’s death. Dee Gordon, the speedy shortstop for the Marlins, came up to the plate. He was the first batter for the Marlins in the game and jacked his first homerun of the season into the second deck in right field. Gordon ran around the bases teary-eyed and was greeted in the dugout by hugs from his teammates. It was an emotional experience that every baseball fan will remember.
Fernandez’s legacy on baseball and on the meaning of life will forever be cherished. Every fifth day when Fernandez took the mound, he brought the city of Miami together, especially the city’s Cuban community who identified with Fernandez and his journey. An angel is truly giving off rays of sunshine on the baseball diamond in Miami.