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A legacy left behind: Jose Fernandez

by Andrew Paoli, Sports Staff

Photo courtesy of: slgcKgc on flickr.com

You may have heard of Jose Fernandez by now, as he has been all over social media these past weeks due to his tragic death in a boating accident in the Miami Harbor. Fernandez was a 24-year-old pitcher for the Miami Marlins. Jose will not only be remembered from his nasty curveball or his jaw-dropping fastball, but more importantly how he touched others in a positive way. From his community service off the field to the contagious joy and passion he held on it, Fernandez’s legacy will be remembered for many years. This young man showed the world how to care for others, enjoy everything you do, and genuinely cherish life.

Jose Fernandez defected from Cuba when he was 15-years-old. As a kid, his family was very poor and he would sell tomatoes and onions for $4 a day. This part of his life contributed to his positive outlook as well as him becoming one of baseball’s brightest stars.

“He was pillar to our community. He was involved in everything that he could give back. I had the experience talking to him several times–down to earth, great person…” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Lorenzo Veloz said this about Fernandez.  

Clearly, Fernandez was truly a kind person and was considerate of others in his community and elsewhere. However, Fernandez graced even more than his community. Fernandez, who stood by his team, in good times and bad, had heartfelt things to say about him.

“When you watch kids playing Little League… that’s the joy that Jose played with–and the passion he felt about playing,” his manager Don Mattingly said through tears.

Evidently, Fernandez was one of those rare people who didn’t get entrapped in the pressures of professional sports and always managed to keep a good perspective.

“The baseball community was affected very heavily when he passed away and a lot of people wore JF16 on their hats,” senior Grace Broberg said.

“He plays for the Miami Marlins and passed away in a boating accident. He was a really good baseball player,” sophomore Anthony Paoli said.

To add, baseball analyst Buster Olney said on ESPN, “When you watched him pitch, he loved it so much. He had so much emotion.”

This is why his death is such a tragedy. A man who had so much talent on the field and a love for life itself off it. I guarantee Jose didn’t take one minute for granted but it was still much too short. His legacy will live on.