Prior to the series finale between the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, the teams and fans observed a moment of silence honoring Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat accident early Sunday morning off the coast of Miami.
Fernandez, 24, and two friends yet to be identified were discovered around 3:30 a.m. by the Coast Guard. All three were pronounced dead at the scene after their boat capsized after colliding with rocks near the entrance to Miami Harbor.
Born in Santa Clara, Villa Clara, Cuba, the two-time All-Star defected to the United States at the age of 15, earning citizenship in 2014. His girlfriend, Carla Mendoza, is expecting the couple’s first child, a daughter, early in 2017.
The Marlins, who canceled their Sunday game with the Atlanta Braves, offered their sentiments with a statement from owner Jeffery Loria:
“Sadly, the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest. Jose left us far too soon, but his memory will endure in all of us. At this difficult time, our prayers are with his mother, grandmother, family and friends.”
Known as much for his jovial personality and infectious smile, “Jo Fez” was selected in the first round (No. 14 overall) of the 2011 amateur draft out of Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa. He became a star in the league winning the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013, after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA (No. 9 in MLB) and 253 strikeouts (No. 2).
Commissioner Rob Manfred said a statement:
“All of (b)aseball is shocked is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013.”
His teammates and competitors has since reacted using various social media platforms to express their emotions:
View this post on Instagram
I'm still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can't quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming. What he meant to me , our team, the city of Miami, Cuba & everyone else in the world that his enthusiasm/heart has touched can never be replaced. I can't fathom what his family is going through because We, as his extended Family are a wreck. I gave him the nickname Niño because he was just a young boy Amongst men , yet those men could barely compete with him . He had his own level, one that was changing the game. EXTRAORDINARY, as a person before the player. Yet still just a kid, who's joy lit up the stadium more than lights could. A kid whose time came too soon. One that I will miss & never forget. Rest In Peace Niño, Jose Fernandez 🙏🏽
View this post on Instagram
My brother. You were family to me…my heart is hurting wishing you would just burst through the clubhouse doors any second now late like always laughing telling me how many red and yellow snapper you caught last night…you were always happy and kept the biggest smile on your face…you may have rubbed people who didn't get to know you the wrong way at times but I always had your back no matter what and didn't never let you get in any of those brawls…last Sunday when you came to chapel with me is crazy now bc you said you needed to go…you just told me that your last game was "the best game I ever pitched in my life" and it was your last…I don't know if God was calling you last Sunday and made you decide to come to chapel or helped you pitch your best game but I do know I love you and I'm so hurt to see my brother go…I know I'm being selfish but you weren't just a teammate to me…you were family…I love you Josey!!! Long Live YOU FOREVER!!!! Rest In Peace my brother I hope you and God catch the biggest fish heaven has to offer. #JDF16FOREVER
I tend to stay off of Twitter on start days but I cannot believe the news about Jose Fernandez. The game and the world just lost a great one
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) September 25, 2016
Jose Fernandez is one of the most genuine guys I've ever played with. He loved life, he loved baseball…..he will be missed dearly.
— dan haren (@ithrow88) September 25, 2016
Sick to my stomach. Can't believe this. #RIPJoseFernandez
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) September 25, 2016
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) September 25, 2016
I dont have the words to describe the pain feel for the loss of my friend Jose. Goodbye, my friend. pic.twitter.com/xvaa5z62RW
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) September 25, 2016