Since the announcement of the death of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident this weekend, Miami has been paralyzed by shock and grief. Fans, players, the Marlins organization, sports writers and everyone who admired Fernandez for his positivity and his story of overcoming the odds to find his way in the United States has reflected on his life.
Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard: “Fernandez made us care. Damn it, this emotional investment. Why? Damn it. Why? Fernandez took us with him for the emotional ride. And it was such a fun party. A carnival. Watching him work was a pleasure, his joy birthing our joy, contagious and expanding and shared — hell, yes, multiplying joy — so Sunday mourning felt like the horror of watching the parade route end in a wreck and a funeral. So sudden. So fast. Too fast. Why? Damn it. Why?”
Miami Herald sports writer Michelle Kaufman: (From a 2013 column) “Keep being your exuberant self. Keep leading cheers from the dugout. Keep joking and laughing and engaging in conversations with opposing players. Keep jumping up and down and pumping your fists when your teammates hit home runs. Keep flashing that megawatt smile, the brightest smile around the Marlins clubhouse since another hot-shot rookie pitcher named Dontrelle Willis was making waves with his unorthodox delivery 10 years ago.”
Marlin Fans headed to Marlins Stadium to show their grief at the loss of Jose Fernandez.
The sports world reacts: “Dontrelle Willis called the news of José Fernandez dying in a boat crash off Miami Beach on Sunday morning “hellacious.”