Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández was killed Sunday, September 26th, 2016 along with two other people when the boat they were riding in crashed into a jetty. The Miami Marlins organization was, as expected, devastated by the news of José ‘s death. The discovery of this tragedy occurred when a boat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard station Miami was leaving for a law enforcement patrol. On the patrol, they passed a jetty along Government Cut. As they passed the jetty, the crew spotted an overturned center console boat. On closer inspection, the crew noticed that the craft had carried three occupants, all of them were now deceased. Two of the victims were on top of the water and one was found underneath the boat.
It was determined, at a later time, that the boat had been going at full speed when it plowed into the jetty. None of the victims recovered were wearing their life jackets. The identities of the two unidentified victims are being withheld pending the notification of their deaths to family members.
José Fernández grew up and had lived in Santa Clara, Cuba. He was also close friends with Aledmys Díaz future shortstop with the St. Louis Cardinals. Both friends played on the same baseball team in Santa Clara and José’s father and Uncle both encouraged José’s mother to bring him to the ballpark. José, in an earlier interview, had said that if it weren’t for the early influence of his father and uncle in his life that he would have never have pursued a career in baseball. Eventually, both boys were picked by American Baseball teams and eventually faced each other professionally for the very first time on July 28th, 2016. At his first time at bat against his friend José, Díaz hit a home run.
His untimely death on Sunday was particularly tragic because José had just become a United States citizen. After he became a citizen the Marlins honored him by flying the United States flag he was given at his citizenship ceremony over Marlin Stadium. In addition to that milestone, he was about to become a become a young father with his longtime partner, Carla Mendoza.
After being told of his death, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. is reported to have said that José was one of the new rising young stars who had made a large impact on the sport since his debut in Miami in 2013 and that his presence will be sorely missed.