Jose Fernandez was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2011, and played his first big league game two years later at the rip old age of 20. The stats he amassed over the course of his brief four-year MLB career were unprecedented by any right-handed pitcher since World War II. Just how dominant was he? He lost only two of 42 starts made at home.
GONE TOO SOON
On Sunday, Fernandez’s clear Hall of Fame trajectory was cut short by a fatal high-speed boating accident on a jetty off Miami Beach. The shock of his sudden loss left manager Don Mattingly emotionally remembering the Cuban ex-pat’s child-like passion for the game.
I'm still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can't quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming. What he meant to me , our team, the city of Miami, Cuba & everyone else in the world that his enthusiasm/heart has touched can never be replaced. I can't fathom what his family is going through because We, as his extended Family are a wreck. I gave him the nickname Niño because he was just a young boy Amongst men , yet those men could barely compete with him . He had his own level, one that was changing the game. EXTRAORDINARY, as a person before the player. Yet still just a kid, who's joy lit up the stadium more than lights could. A kid whose time came too soon. One that I will miss & never forget. Rest In Peace Niño, Jose Fernandez 🙏🏽
Teammate Giancarlo Stanton took to Instagram to share his thoughts on Fernandez’s untimely passing and echoed Mattingly’s boyish characterization of the pitcher. Afterward, a truckload of tributes from MLB’s best have continued to come in on Twitter.
REMEMBERING JOSE FERNANDEZ
The batters that Fernandez frequently flummoxed at the plate were left rueing that they were never again get to feel the heat coming off of one of his fastballs.
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
Absolutely devastated hearing about Jose. Thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends, and Marlins org.
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) September 25, 2016
Absolutely crushed and shocked at the news about Jo-Fez..My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and the @Marlins org!
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) September 25, 2016
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 25, 2016
Jose, you will forever be missed. My prayers are with your family. Thank you for everything. May you rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/5JfFsZVTWR
— Yoenis Cespedes (@ynscspds) September 26, 2016
Heavy heart tonight thinking about Jose Fernandez and those who care about him. Such a loss.
— Edgar Martinez (@11EdgarMartinez) September 26, 2016
What an awful day for the sports world. Losing a sure fire superstar in Jose Fernandez…now…The King, Arnold Palmer? Day I won't forget.
— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) September 26, 2016
Never had a chance to compete against Jose Fernandez, but he looked to be the ultimate competitor. Will miss the passion he brought#RIPJose
— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) September 26, 2016
And fellow pitchers mourned the loss of one from their ranks…
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
Descansa en paz buen amigo… pic.twitter.com/8jqgF22grO
— Aroldis Chapman (@AChapman_105) September 25, 2016
Even a basketball Hall of Famer and All Star took note…
Rest in Peace to the Miami Marlins outstanding Pitcher, Jose Fernandez. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 26, 2016
Rest in Power Jose Fernandez. The world lost a great baseball player, but more importantly an even better person. Prayers up for his family.
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) September 25, 2016