Jose Fernandez: Miami Marlins Pitcher Dies In Boating Accident At Age 24

Jose Fernandez: Miami Marlins Pitcher Dies In Boating Accident At Age 24

The Miami Marlins are mourning the death of one of their own after Jose Fernandez, their All-Star pitcher, died in a boating accident at the young age of 24.

According to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard, an overturned boat was discovered on Sunday, September 25. Fernandez, who recently revealed he was expecting a baby with his girlfriend Carla Mendoza, was identified as one of the three individuals who died in the boating accident; the names of the other two people have not been released and will be withheld until their family members are notified of their deaths. The Coast Guard Station Miami discovered the boat with the three deceased passengers at approximately 3:30 p.m. and then notified the Miami-Dade Police Dept. and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) personnel, who are now investigating the reason the boat overturned.

“It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,” Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said, according to the Associated Press. “It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened.”

“It is with the deepest sorrow that I, together with my family and the entire Marlins organization, mourn the tragic loss of Jose,” a statement from Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria read. “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.”

“When I think of Jose, it’s going to be thinking of that little kid,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I see such a little boy in him with the way he played. There was just joy with him when he played. When he pitched, I think that’s what the guys would say, too, as mad as he would make you with some of the stuff he’d do, you’d see that little kid you see when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That’s the joy that Jose played with and the passion he felt about playing. That’s what I think about.”

Martin Prado, the Marlin’s third baseman and unofficial captain, spoke about Fernandez’s tragic death as Mike Dunn held up his No. 16 jersey.

“This is difficult for me and everybody,” Prado said. “When I came to the Marlins last year, I knew one of the main things about the Marlins was Jose.”

Prado added, “He didn’t care who he faced. He didn’t care who we were playing. One of the guys told the story today that he told one of his teammates, ‘The last game he pitched against the Nationals was the best game he ever pitched.’ Now he’s gone.”

Jose Fernandez was a two-time All-Star and the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013. During Tuesday’s game, Fernandez threw eight innings, striking out 12 in a 1-0 win over the Nationals, according to the Marlin’s website.

Sunday’s game with the Braves at Marlins Park was canceled, but President David Samson said the team will return to the field on Monday.

“There will be a game tomorrow,” he said. “When the team got together, one of the first things talked about was the way José played and the way he played and the way he was on the field. If José were here, he would be saying we’re going to get out on the field tomorrow and we’re going to play…for the people who wish they could play the game but can’t.”

[Featured Image by Bob Levey/ Getty Images]