Tragedy strikes in Miami

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in boating accide

Tragedy strikes in Miami

An inspiration to us all, but taken far too soon. On September 25th at the age of 24, Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez and three of his friends died in a gruesome boating accident. Fernandez left behind a pregnant girlfriend and many friends and fans in grief.

Jose Fernandez's boat
Jose Fernandez’s boat

“You never see something like this coming,” said Dashawn Strong-Mosley. “There is no way to prepare for an event like this. It’s simply tragic.”

Fernandez was one of the top pitchers in the big leagues, and was just making his way into his prime. Despite going through Tommy John surgery in 2014, Jose had not skipped a beat.

He was most known for his ability to baffle hitters at the plate with his electric fastball and sweeping curve as he averaged 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings this season.

One of the pit falls in his game was his failure to pitch well on the road. He had a 1.53 ERA when at home, but during away games he posted an ERA of 4.53. If he could just work out this one kink in his almost flawless game, then there was no doubt he was going to eventually be the best pitcher in baseball.

“It seemed that he was just one step away from starting the best part of his career,” says Justin Donovan. “The Marlins have many great young players, and he was at the helm of everything in Miami.”

A sad part about it was that the Miami Marlins still had six games left to play. The day after Jose passed, the Marlins played at home against the New York Mets. The team all wore his number (16) and name on the back of their jerseys. The number sixteen was also painted onto the mound.

Jose's teamates honor him by wearing his jersey a day after his death
Jose’s teamates honor him by wearing his jersey a day after his death

A touching part of the game was when Dee Godron lead off in the first inning imitating Jose’s stance. He then switched over to the left side of the plate, and blasted his first home run of the season into the right field bleachers.

After the game, Gordon said he had never hit a ball that far even in batting practice, and if you don’t believe in God, you may as well as start now.

Dee Gordon mourns at Marlins Park
Dee Gordon mourns at Marlins Park

The Marlins would go on to win the game 7-3.

Since his death, the great city of Miami has honored his memory through countless services and memorials.

Most recently, the 4-0 Miami Hurricanes football team wore a sticker with Jose’s initials and the number sixteen on the back of their helmets in their game against Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes beat the Yellow Jackets 35-21 to remain undefeated.

“One thing I loved about Jose was how much fun he had playing the game,” said Brandon Meyers. “The intensity and the flair he brought to the mound every time he pitched was great to watch.”

If there is something to take away from Jose Fernandez’s legacy, it would be the way he attacked each hitter. With every at-bat he brought passion like it was the last hitter he would ever face.

Ask any intelligent baseball coach, and they will all tell you the most important thing to do is to attack the game. There was no one who attacked the game better than Jose Fernandez.