José Fernández, the star pitcher of the Miami Marlins died this Sunday in a boating accident in Florida. The baseball athlete was only 24 years old.
Miami authorities and the Wildlife Commission found the remains of the boat that apparently crashed at the entrance of Miami Harbor. Fernández was found dead inside the crashed boat, as well as two other men whose identities were not revealed, but were also in their 20s. According to the Coast Guards, the men were close friends of Fernandez and the group of young men often went to the area to enjoy boating activities.
One of the bodies was found on the rocks while the other two were under the boat that was found by Coast Guards around 3 am, who explained that the boat seemed to have been heading south at speed, but a considerably large rock hit it.
The boat did not belong to Fernández and investigations proved he was not driving it either. Even when alcohol and drugs are often related to this kind of accidents, in this case, there is no evidence of the presence of any substance that may have affected the control of the vehicle.
Who was José Fernández?
Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, the 24-year-old athlete made his debut in the Major League in 2013, although he started in Minor Leagues a few years earlier. He was Rookie of the Year in the National League in 2013 and won an All-Star recognition. He received the All-Star again in 2016.
He ran away from Cuba and after several failed attempts, he managed to arrive in Florida, where he stayed, choosing Tampa as a residence. He became a U.S. citizen in 2015.
His initial baseball contract made him receive a $2 million bonus and was named Pitcher of the Year in the Marlin’s Minor League.
He was considered a star due to his pitching style, with an average 94-97 miles per hour fastball, 88-94 mph sinker, 85-88 mph changeup and reached a record of 101 mph at slurves.
Fernández needed surgery just before the beginning of the 2015 season, where his elbow was reconstructed. However, this significant intervention did not affect his records or his performance in the team.
Rob Manfred, a Major League Baseball Commissioner, considered Fernández one of the game’s great young stars since he made a dramatic impact on and off the field since he started in the leagues.
Fernández in Miami
The statement the team published in their official web page stated that the Miami Marlins Organization was devastated by this tragic loss. He left Carla Mendoza, his girlfriend, pregnant with their first child.
The team also decided to cancel the game planned for next Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.
“He was a pillar of our community; he was involved in everything that he could be to give back. I had the experience of talking to him several times, down-to-earth, great person … I’m sorry I’m getting goosebumps right now; it’s really hitting home, and it’s horrible,” said Lorenzo Veloz, the Fish and Wildlife Commission Public Information Officer.