Written by Beatriz Garay, Staff Writer
The baseball world woke up to a tragic story this past Sunday morning. The MLB lost one of its greatest pitchers of the 21st Century. Jose Fernandez, the 24 year old pitcher for the Miami Marlins and two friends died in a boating accident. The National Guard found the disassembled boat after 3am Sunday morning. Alcohol or drugs were not a factor of this tragedy, but what we do know is that Jose Fernandez died on impact.
Following the recognition of his parting, MLB released a statement regarding the tragedy:
“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,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.”
Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins manager, said during the press conference: “When I think about Jose … I see such a little boy in him. That’s the joy that Jose played with, and the passion he felt about playing.”
Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez’s teammate, wrote on an Instagram post: “I’m still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can’t quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming.”
To commemorate his death, the Marlins game against the Braves was canceled Sunday afternoon. However, his teammates did show up to unite and comfort each other. The entire Marlins ball club also hosted a conference to discuss the tragedy.
Before every game, all teams had a moment of silence; occasionally joined with tears of pain and loss. In addition, some players from each team wore gear with “R.I.P. J.F.” and Fernandez’s number (16) written on them. The Marlins, Mets, and the LA Dodgers hung a jersey with “Fernandez #16” in their dugouts in his honor. Pitchers from various teams were also seen writing “#16” on the mound, picking up sand and letting it drift in the wind. His team also placed his glove and hat, and spray painted his number on the mound in their home stadium.
The Marlins held a special ceremony on Monday, September 26, before their game against the New York Mets as a tribute to the ace pitcher. Every Marlins player wore Fernandez’s jersey and there was a moment of silence to honor Fernandez. Before the Marlins took the field, Giancarlo Stanton said some touching words to the entire team. “Do it for Jose,” he said, while pumping his fist in the air.
The Marlins took the win with 7-3. At the end of the game, they took a knee on the mound and left every single hat behind in honor of Fernandez. Fans cheered and chanted “Jose, Jose, Jose.”
R.I.P. Jose Fernandez.
Photo source: Facebook