By Eric Charbonnet @ECHARB10
Three young men lost their lives in the early hours of Sept. 25, 2016 off the coast of Miami.
Any athlete who has played on a team and become close to their teammates knows the special bond that is created throughout the season. Blood, sweat and tears go in to practice, games, film and extra training on the side. Athletes sacrifice their time repeatedly to play on a team and live their dream. For Jose Fernandez his dream was cut abruptly short.
The 24-year-old pitching phenom for the Miami Marlins, was killed along with two of his close friends, Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias. The men were on their way back to Miami Beach when the 32-foot fishing boat hit a jetty that had no lights to indicate its existence.
Initial reports were that the boat became airborne before landing upside down, killing the three passengers onboard. Fernandez was 24, Rivero 25 and Macias 27.
In the days since the accident, more details have emerged about what might have transpired in the moments before the crash.
Apparently Fernandez, along with one of the other men killed, had been at a nightclub before the collision.
It has come out that Jose was stressed out about an argument with his girlfriend, and sought to blow off steam on the warm Miami waters.
Marcell Ozuna, a teammate of Jose’s could not go out on the boat that evening but was asked by Fernandez to call him in the morning if he wasn’t at the stadium on time. Bleacher Report has done an admirable job keeping fans around the world updated.
They have provided pictures of the texts sent by Rivero to a friend as well as videos of the Sport’s World’s reactions and highlights of his brief yet exceptional career.
Rumors and speculations will continue to circulate until the truth about what really happened come out. Things are sure to remain somewhat convoluted, since all three passengers were killed.
How or why this happened or what caused the boat to hit the jetty is not wholly unimportant, but it’s definitely not more important than the fact that a young man and his friends died. The only thing that matters is the immense loss that a family and community just suffered.
Jose was the Rookie of The Year in 2013 as well as an All-Star in both 2013 and 2016. He had a career 38-17 win-loss record and owned a 2.58 ERA (earned run average) over that game span. He was an energetic and passionate young man with an arm that electrified crowds and fellow players alike. His manager, Don Mattingly, might have said it best in an interview with USA Today.
“He was so young that you’re supposed to help teach him, but he’s the one who taught us,” Mattingly said as he walked back into Marlins Park.
“He taught us how to enjoy the game, how to love the game and to have the passion he had. He taught us a lesson of how we’re supposed to be.”