R.I.P Jose Fernandez
Miami Marlins righthander Jose Fernandez, who unsuccessfully attempted to defect from Cuba three times before succeeding on his fourth try, and became one of the best young pitchers in baseball, died in a boating accident near Miami Beach in the early morning hours of September 25th, 2016. He was 24. According to the Coast Guard, the boat hit a jetty at a high rate of speed, flipping it over. Hernandez, an avid fisherman apparently out for a morning of fishing, was killed along with two other men.
News of the popular Fernandez’ death sent shock waves through baseball. The Marlins cancelled their game with the Atlanta Braves on September 25th. Fellow baseball players around the game posted condolences on social media, and there were tributes to him in ballparks and game broadcasts across the country.
Fernandez made his major league debut in 2013, when he was 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 28 starts. Over the next two years, he battled injuries and had Tommy John surgery, but was still very good in limited action, going 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 2014 and 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA in 2015. This season he returned to form, and was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA and 253 strikeouts in 29 starts. He was second in the National League in strikeouts at the time of his death, fifth in victories, and ninth in ERA. His future was seemingly limitless, but things don’t always work out that way.
The Marlins announced they will resume play on September 26th, when they host the New York Mets. Fernandez had been the scheduled starter. Here’s a look at him in action in the Marlins’ 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on September 20th. Fernandez struck out 12, walked none, and allowed only three hits in picking up his 16th victory of the season. It was his last game.