Tragic news broke out of Miami Beach early Sunday morning, with the announcement of Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death.
Fernandez, only 24 years old, was found dead after his boat crashed into the entrance of Miami Harbor. The driver of the boat was traveling roughly 40 miles per hour in the dark hours of the early morning, thinking that he was travelling parallel to the entrance of the rocky harbor, when the boat hit the rocks head-on.
Divers recovered two of the bodies under the boat, with the other body having been launched thirty feet onto the rocks.
Fernandez defected from Cuba at the age of fifteen, on his fourth attempt in 2008, and was drafted by Miami in the 2011 MLB entry draft. Fernandez was becoming one of baseball’s most electric pitchers, with a high velocity fastball and a wide array of tantalizing pitches in his arsenal. Though very young, many pundits placed his career on pace for one of a hall of famer. In each of his four seasons, Fernandez had a sub-3.00 Earned Run Average and led the Marlins in wins and strikeouts.
In his final start, Fernandez pitched a gem against division foe Washington, delivering an eight inning, twelve strikeout win.
Major League Baseball and all thirty of its teams sends condolences to Fernandez’s family and his pregnant girlfriend that he leaves behind. Fernandez was known for his passionate approach to the game of baseball. Praised by his teammates for a fantastic work ethic, he always strived to be the best.
“When you watch kids playing Little League… that’s the joy that Jose played with — and the passion he felt about playing”, said Don Mattingly, Marlins Manager, in regards to his joyful outlook on life.
Jose will be greatly missed in the South Florida community as a player, and above all, a man that loved life.