Miami Marlins’ Ace Jose Fernandez Killed In Boating Accident

kim kardashian

The death of a star athlete is always shocking. Some you discover and a wave of sadness washes over you, but then there are others where it shakes you to your very core. It certainly doesn’t make one more tragic than the other, but some may hit harder than others. Such is the case of Jose Fernandez.

The 24-year-old Miami Marlins ace pitcher was found dead early Sunday morning in what appeared to be a boating accident. There were no drugs involved, no alcohol, just pure misfortune. The 3am excursion that he and two others took near Miami Beach was just simply who Jose Fernandez was: a young adult living the life. As a Cuban defect, he began a new life in the United States and worked himself to become one of the best pitchers in the league. And you could see the joie de vivre in that contagious smile he carried with him day in and day out.

It was determined, however, that while it wasn’t drugs or alcohol that caused the accident, speed was the fatal mistake early Sunday morning. The speedboat was discovered stranded on a jetty, with two bodies of the three passengers found underneath it. A third was found floating in the water nearby.

The passing of Jose Fernandez has rocked the entire sport of baseball, has turned such a strong bastion filled with feel-good stories, hope, and passion into something weaker, fragile, and stripped bear. In the final stretch of September, the playoffs stand on the horizon, and there’s nothing like baseball in cold October nights.

As the season has come into its final days, it appears Miami is out of the playoff picture. But for the entire year they enjoyed a surprising successful season, always staying within reach of grabbing a playoff spot. It was the type of season Jose Fernandez was having, in large part, as to why Miami has enjoyed a 2016 campaign. He was 16-8, with an ERA at 2.86. In typical Jose Fernandez fashion, in 182.1 innings pitched he struck out an incredible 253 batters.  That’s a near 13 strikeouts per nine innings.

Fernandez was not a star in the making. He was already a bonafide stud. His arrival from Cuba marked a time of transition for baseball. With Fernandez came the beginning of the next generation of, well, generational talent. With Fernandez came unadulterated excitement, the type of excitement that gripped baseball in the 90’s. There, in Miami, was the next Pedro Martinez, whose arsenal included an upper 90’s fastball and wipeout breaking pitches.

But there, in Miami, was the first Jose Fernandez.

Miami to him meant the world, and Fernandez to Miami was everything. To put that relationship into words is an unbelievably daunting task, but Dan Le Batard was able to do so for The Miami Herald in a moving article from 2013.

Jose Fernandez was what baseball needed. He pitched with confidence, charisma, and a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He wasn’t afraid to speak on the field, whether to himself or to opposing players. His style of play was a hybrid of the youthful exuberance that, in large part, was initiated by him, and an old school, blue-collared approach that was established well before his time.

Fernandez left an incredible impact on the baseball world, but his sudden departure has left an even bigger hole. The scheduled game today between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves was cancelled, and it was announced there will be a moment of silence all throughout baseball. The Miami Marlins held a press conference this morning, where manager Don Mattingly summed up the type of person Fernandez was with thickness in his voice and tears in his eyes.

“When I think of Jose, it’s going to be thinking of that little kid,” Mattingly said. “I see such a little boy in him with the way he played. There was just joy with him when he played. When he pitched, I think that’s what the guys would say, too, as mad as he would make you with some of the stuff he’d do, you’d see that little kid you see when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That’s the joy that Jose played with and the passion he felt about playing. That’s what I think about.”

Indeed, it’s what we all will think about.

About Alec Montecalvo

Just an aspiring writer trying to make his mark on the world. Ask me and I'll explain to you why an All-Pitcher's Home Run Derby is a good idea, and how hockey is perhaps the greatest North American sport we have. That's all I got for now. I should get back to writing.

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