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On Sunday, September 25, the U.S. Coast Guard found the body of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernandez and two friends near an overturned boat on a jetty off the coast of Miami Beach.

“There’s no words to describe how this organization feels,” David Samson, president of the Miami Marlins, said in a statement. “José was someone who we’ve known since he was a drafted young man, and I think when you talk about a tragedy like this, there are no words that come to mind. There’s no playbook, there’s no words of consolation.” Fernandez came to the U.S. in 2008 from Cuba, attending high school in Tampa and joining the Marlins in 2013, where he became the National League Rookie of the Year during his first season. Fernandez also became an American citizen just last year, and he was expecting a daughter with girlfriend Maria Arias whom he wanted to name Penelope. It actually wasn’t even public knowledge that Fernandez was going to be a father until he posted about it on Instagram just days before his death.

I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst A photo posted by Jose Fernandez (@jofez16) on

In the days after the incident, many supporters and teammates alike have offered their condolences, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio has vowed to investigate the jetty that ultimately caused the accident.

All in all, the memories of Fernandez are nothing but positive. “He was a superstar human being,” said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria at his funeral. “A year ago he tweeted — and you can look it up — he tweeted, ‘If you were given a book with the story of your life, would you read the end?’ I prefer not to think of this as the end of his life, but the beginning of his legend.”

posted on 12/01/2016 by Sarah Kunst
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