He died early Sunday.
José Fernández, the star pitcher for the Miami Marlins, was killed Sunday morning in a boating accident off Miami Beach.
According to authorities, the 24-year-old was one of three people who died in the crash. At 3:15am, the Coast Guard noticed an upside down vessel on the north side jetty. All three men that were on the boat were confirmed dead on scene.
Fernández was a favorite in Miami. He was drafted in 2011 by the Marlins and was in the majors two years later. In 2013, the pitcher won Major League Baseball‘s rookie of the year award.
Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Fernández was also known for having tried three times to defect—ending up with a prison term for each attempt. In 2007, he and his mother and sister finally were successful. But when they hit rough waters, his mother fell overboard and he dived in to save her. Fernández’s family settled in Tampa, Florida, where he attended high school.
The Miami Marlins and baseball community have been hit hard by the news. His team team released a statement, saying it was “devastated by the tragic loss.” Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled.
The Marlins also held a press conference. Marlins Manager Don Mattingly shared memories of the pitcher.
Rohan Nadkarni at Sports Illustrated wrote that Fernández “was one of the most fun-loving, joyful humans to ever play baseball.” Many colleagues and fans have also posted to social media their condolences.
According to MLB, there will be a league-wide moment of silence before each of Sunday’s games in memory of Fernández.
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