It’s a devastating day in the world of major league baseball as news of the death of Jose Fernandez surfaced early Sunday morning. The star pitcher for the Miami Marlins was one of three people who died in a boating crash off the coast of Miami Beach. According to Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fernandez was on a 32-foot boat that made a “severe impact” with a jetty, and was found upside down by the U.S. Coast Guard at around 3:30 a.m. local time. The divers recovered two of the bodies under the boat and the third body on the rocks. The two other victims names are being withheld until their families can be notified but they are said to have been personal friends. Fernandez was only 24 years old.
According to officials, based on the impact evidence and severity of damage to the boat, it’s believed that it hit the jetty at full speed. Drugs and alcohol do not seem to appear to be factors in the crash but autopsies have not been done. Fernandez was not the owner of the boat, and all three of the victims were not wearing life vests. The Miami Marlins announced Fernandez’s death in a statement saying, “The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.” The Marlins also canceled their game against the Atlanta Braves that was supposed to happen hours after Fernandez was found deceased.
Fernandez was born in Cuba and defected to the United States as a 15 year old in 2008. He was drafted by the Marlins in 2011 and went on to become the franchises star pitcher. He was named National League Rookie of the year in 2013 and was a two-time All Star. Fernandez not only had a promising career in major league baseball, but he also had a promising future.
Just five days ago he posted a photo of his pregnant girlfriend on instagram saying, I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst The baseball community is rightfully shocked at his unexpected death. A number of prominent figures in the league, players, and fans have expressed their sadness of Fernandez’s being gone too soon. “All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández. He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. “He’s sort of the American dream for the Cuban baseball player. This kid is a symbol for Cuban(-American) life and the things that can be accomplished in this country.”