Today we all mourn the loss of Miami Marlins’ ace pitcher José Fernandez, who was tragically killed at 24 in a boating accident Sunday morning. I have no words to explain how much my heart breaks knowing we won’t get to see him on the mound again. It goes without saying that he was one of the best pitchers in the game, having a career record of 38-17 with 2.58 ERA (29-2 and 1.92 ERA in all of his home starts) and a four-time All-Star, putting his stamp on the game of baseball quickly, unfortunately he won’t be able to add to these incredible numbers.
He also held the highest FIP during the Live-Ball era by starting pitchers (minimum 400 IP). Here is who he outperformed.
As an avid follower of the game, I tuned in to almost every one of Fernandez’ starts this season because it almost seemed like a no-hitter waiting to happen. Fernandez’s incredible attitude and infectious smile lit up a baseball diamond and brought thousands of Marlins fans to the park each night – dedicating his starts as “Jose Day”. He was a player that was living the American dream, defecting from Cuba five times at the age of 15, showing perseverance and bravery from the very beginning. Fernandez even rescued a women from drowning on his way to freedom, unknowingly it was his mother who he had saved.
Fernandez lived every day to the fullest and never took anything for granted while influencing every life that he came across. The millions of fans that were able to watch him pitch will never forget what a treat it was to watch No. 16 take the mound.
Every death has an impact, but this shook the entire baseball world, especially Cuba where there will be a lifelong void that will never be filled with his passing. He just meant so much to so many people down there, mainly to the Marlins community as many of them are Cuban and had an idol to look up to and a centerpiece to the Marlins organization that will never be replaced.