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:
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