Jose Fernandez, the 24 year old Miami Marlins pitching phenom has died, the team has announced. The Coast Guard says he was one of three killed in a boat accident near Miami Beach this morning.
Statement from the Miami Marlins organization: pic.twitter.com/6A4Rv6m2g9
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 25, 2016
Fernandez was an extraordinary young talent.
Forever one of the best GIFs I’ve laid eyes on pic.twitter.com/HYlB45qGQm
— connor (@ConIsles) September 25, 2016
Sadly, this wasn’t his first brush with the dangers of the sea. Fernandez, who had attempted to defect from Cuba three times, and was caught and arrested each time, finally managed to make the trip in 2007. That time he ended up saving his mother’s life.
And then he remembers the splash. He heard it one night while he was making small talk with the captain. After the splash, he heard the screams. A wave had crashed over the boat’s deck and swept Fernandez’s mother out to sea. He saw her body and before he had time to think, he jumped in. A spotlight shone on the water, and Fernandez could make out his mother thrashing in the waves about 60 feet from the boat. She could swim, but just barely, and as Fernandez pushed his way toward her, he spat out salty water with almost every stroke. Waves — “stupid big,” he says — lifted him to the sky, then dropped him back down. When he reached his mother he told her, “Grab my back, but don’t push me down. Let’s go slow, and we’ll make it.” She held his left shoulder. With his right arm — his pitching arm — he paddled. Fifteen minutes later, they reached the boat. A rope dropped, and they climbed aboard. For now, at least, they were going to be OK. via Grantland
Hernandez was expecting a child with his girlfriend Carla Mendoza, as he posted on Instagram earlier this week.