Words by: Kirra Martin
Major League Baseball has suffered a tragic loss. One of its brightest players was killed in a boating collision off Miami Beach. Jose Fernandez, a Miami Marlins pitcher, died at 24 along with and two others Sunday, after their boat was discovered by officials on jetty rocks.
According to Officer Lorenzo Veloz, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at 3:15 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard was out on patrol when they noticed a overturned 32-foot vessel on the north side jetty which caused the boat to capsize.
There is reason to believe that Fernandez summoned his two friends for a night out at the bar and the boat after a supposed argument with his girlfriend, according to the Miami Herald.
Miami locals, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivera, were killed along with Fernandez according to the Miami-Dade Coroner’s office. No further information has been released about the other victims.
“Speed was a factor within the collision,” said Veloz. “Fernandez was a passenger on the boat and not the owner,” said Veloz.
According to Veloz, Fernandez’s death was a loss to the community and his family.
“It is a tragic loss, not only for the family, for friends, but for the Marlin community, the state of Florida, major league baseball and anyone who met this gentleman,” Veloz said.
“He was a pillar to our community, he was involved in everything that he could be to give back…it’s a great loss.”
Fernandez was a native of Cuba, who got caught three times trying to come to the United States to play baseball according to Marlins president, David Samson, surrounded by team and officials, during an emotional press conference.
“The way he played this game, the way he was on the field, that’s a way how these guys can honor him,” Samson said.
The President of Baseball Operations, Michael Hill fought back tears as he reminisced of the young athlete.
“I think back to seeing that precocious young high school senior in the All-Star game… I don’t think there are words to express how I feel… It’s a tremendous loss and my heart goes out to his family.”
According to the Marlins MLB website, the passing of Fernandez resulted in the cancellation of the Miami’s series finale on Sunday with the Braves, in Miami. Fernandez was regarded as one of the best pitchers in the game, who was a first-round pick in 2011.
The Miami Marlins released a statement on Twitter in ode of Fernandez:
“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Fans of Fernandez payed their respects to the beloved player outside of Marlins Park, while other fans expressed their condolences in an overwhelming response on social media.