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Reflecting on the loss of Jose Fernandez

By now you’ve probably heard the news that pitching phenom Jose Fernandez and two others died in a boating accident at 3am on Sunday. He was 24. Over the past few days, the entire league joined together to mourn the life of the Marlins pitcher. Putting rivalries aside, this loss goes above and beyond the sport of baseball. As more stories come out, one thing is for sure: there will never be anyone quite like Jose Fernandez.


Taken 14th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft, Jose Fernandez made an immediate impact in the league. He just had that “it” factor, something not seen since the days of Pedro Martinez in Boston. Every time he pitched people were glued to their TV’s. If you were in Miami, you would cancel everything just to see him perform. As a Mets fan, I dreaded watching him dominate my team, but I just couldn’t look away. He was a once in a lifetime pitcher who had it all.

How he got to the top of the mountain is a tale worth speaking of.

Jose Fernandez’s story is simply incredible. He tried to defect from Cuba three times to live a better life with his family. Jose went to jail and still tried to live his dream no matter what. In 2008, he traveled with his mother on a boat to America. During the trip, someone fell off the boat and into the water. Jose immediately jumped in and saved the person, not knowing at first that it was his own mother. He always was a family first type of guy. His relationship with his grandma (who surprised him during an interview one time) was something that would make any family cry.


Marlins President David Samson understood what type of man he had in that Marlins clubhouse. Jose made sure to point out all of the sacrifices he made to get to where he was. In regards to Jose’s point, Samson stated:

“He represented freedom in a way that most no one here can understand, certainly not me, when you’re born into freedom. He always would tell me that. ‘You were born into freedom, you don’t understand freedom, really,’ was his famous line that he said so many times to many of us.”

Jose finally had the life of a free man and never really took that for granted. A few weeks ago, Jose posted a photo on Instagram with his pregnant girlfriend with the caption “#FamilyFirst”. Now that’s just heartbreaking. He was the epitome on how to live life, and just like that he was taken away from the world. I’m not here to talk about the situation regarding the accident. For someone so young, to make an impact on the entire league speaks volumes about him.

With just a few more games until the regular season ends, the Marlins have a tough journey ahead of them. As the team grows stronger together however, so does the memory of Jose Fernandez. I expect something big will happen next season that will give Jose the proper memorial he deserves. After last night, the number 16 will never be worn again by a Marlin. I appreciate that gesture. I also agree with Ken Rosenthal’s idea of an award in his honor. Just like the Roberto Clemente Award, this honor would go to a player who “best exemplifies love and passion” for the game of baseball. It would be a great way for his legacy to live on.

One of the brightest lights in baseball just went out. Tomorrow is a new day filled with endless possibilities. Here’s to a young kid who was able to live out his dream for his family. I along with everyone else just wish he was able to continue that dream.



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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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