The American Dream by definition is the belief that with hard work, ingenuity, and dedication, every citizen in the US can achieve success. Based on that, if you’re a poor kid born in a foreign country, Cuba for example, You have to first and make it to the US, then manage to become a citizen before you are even on the bottom rung of the ladder to success to even have a shot at the American Dream.
What does that look like, to overcome all the roadblocks and “make it” as an American folklore Hero against all the odds? After 4 attempts, one of which landed him in a Cuban jail, and traveling through Mexico in order to even make it into the US and finally to Florida at age 15, not knowing the language or the culture, Jose Fernandez managed in his 11 short years in this country to become just such a hero.
José Fernandez will forever stand as an example of what is possible with vision, determination and a dream. He is remembered fondly by Dieter Kurtenbach of Fox Sports, http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/jose-fernandez-was-the-american-dream-092516 who said “The kid from Cuba was lucky to be a major league pitcher, but those who knew him where the real lucky ones.”
Sports writers throughout the industry remember him as charming, charismatic and talented. Those fortunate enough to work closely with him or to meet him at one of the many public charity event he attended are for ever changed for the better after having been in his presence.
Though his time amongst us mere mortals was short only 24 years, he will forever stand as a role model for immigrant and the natural born youth alike, that a dream, hard work, dedication and selflessness is the key to success and that the American Dream is alive and well.
R I P José Fernandez, thank you for your light which shines even brighter now than when you walked among us.