José Fernández Tragically Goes Down Swinging

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Tragedy has wormed its wonton way into sports yet again. Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández, who defected from Cuba at 15 and went on to become one of baseball’s brightest stars, was killed early Sunday in a boating accident. Jose Fernandez’s tragic death darkens one of baseball’s brightest lights and has extinguished one of life’s biggest smiles.

Fernández, who was 24, and two other men were found dead after their boat was discovered overturned of the rocks at the entrance of Miami Harborz. Fernández was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, and defected to the United States in 2008.

Drafted by the Marlins in 2011, he went on to become the franchise’s star pitcher, named National League Rookie of the Year 2013 and a two-time All-Star. He owned what Miami Herald sportswriter Dan Le Batard once called a “rags to pitches” story that many, especially those in Florida’s Cuban-American communities, found inspiring. And what he did OFF of the field is even more memorable.

Most importantly, Fernández saved his mother, Maritza, from falling overboard on the forth and finally successful attempt to defect from Cuba.  And because of how much his grandmother meant to him, the Marlins organization brought her to Miami on a two year visa when he was named 2013 NL Rookie of the Year.

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Yet it’s all so sad. It’s all so senseless. It’s all so surreal. Killed in an overnight boating accident, reports say that a friend practically begged Fernandez not to go out on the boat. When he insisted, the friend went with him, and lost his life as well. 

What people say about you when you’re gone speaks volumes. And someone who was very close to him spoke very highly of him. José Fernández’s EX girlfriend spoke sweetly and tenderly about her one time and former lost love.

Carla Mendoza is speaking out three days after the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend José Fernández. In an Instagram post, the Miami Marlins pitcher’s former love opened up about the unbearable heartbreak that she’s suffering.

My deepest love goes out to those who saw José as more than an athlete, but as a passionate, raw human being. The heartbreak is unbearable. There was so much more to him than anyone could even begin to understand. I’m fortunate enough to have loved and be loved by José, and his family, for over 3 crazy beautiful years.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s reached out to me, it truly means a lot. Nothing will make this time easy for anyone and if you do one thing today, let it be that you tell those close to you how much you love them. Not one day will pass by that I don’t think about him or love him. Jose never went one moment without knowing how much support and love he had from those close to him.

My heart goes out to Maria, as she is expecting his child. Please honor José’s memory by respecting his daughter and her mother as I’m sure this is all too painful for her as well.”

The following clip is of the reunion of José and his grandmother.

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