José D. Fernández was THE EPITOME of THE AMERICAN DREAM & THE MIAMI MARLINS!
José D. Fernández possessed these qualities, IMHO:
*Many dreams, some only partially fulfilled!
*A lust for life!
*Love for and from his family, girlfriend & unborn child!
*Personality that was 100% José D. Fernández’!
*A LOVE for Major League Baseball!
*A LOVE for The Miami Marlins Baseball Team!
*A LOVE for Marlins fans & all of humanity!
*A PASSION to pitch seven days a week!
*Dominance on the pitcher’s mound!
*A KEEN SENSE to know when was THE TIME to be HUMBLE!
He was a dominant star pitcher in the MLB who possessed the bravado and swagger of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler! As is the title, it seems fitting to José’s life & philanthropic endeavor’s, “We’re All Somebody From Somewhere”
To wake up to the news of his tragic death at 24 years of age just stunned me. He’s not gone. This news is a disgusting hoax. Boating accident?
Did some young person stumble across an old article about the horrific events that took place on March 22, 1993 on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Fla. and decide to change some stuff up to illicit a reaction for their disgusting joke?
The end result of that would only open up old wounds for the loved ones of Cleveland Indians pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin who perished after their bass boat tore into an unlighted pier while teammate, Bobby Ojeda as the only survivor. Let’s not go there!
I quickly went to Google for some fact checking’! Sadly, it was tragically true!
1993. Oh what a year for this writer. I met two of my bruthas from other muthas, Shiloh “Shaggy” Kessler & Josh Smith, one of my favorite albums of all-time was released: Poison’s “Native Tongue” was released with my co-all-time favorite Lead Vocalist, Background Vocalist, Vocal Harmonizer, Lyricist, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist and Guitarist, Richie Kotzen. It was the ONLY album that the band did with Richie Kotzen although there is a superfantastic 2LP, 2CD and DVD of the band with Richie Kotzen at the Hammersmith Apollo, London, England on April 23, 1993 entitled “7 Days Live”.
My co-favorite album of all-time was being recorded in 1993, Mötley Crüe’s self-titled masterpiece! SADLY, it’s the ONLY album to feature Lead Vocalist, John Corabi, who just happens to be my co-all-time favorite Lead Vocalist, Lyricist, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist, Guitarist! Corabi, guitarist Mick Mars, drummer Tommy Lee, producer Bob Rock, mixer Randy Staub and mastering guru George Marino are the unanimous co-MVP’s of the self-titled album from Mötley Crüe that was released on March 15, 1994!
1993 also saw Aerosmith dominating the radio airwaves and MTV programming. Sensing a trend? NO! Geez, GET A GRIP folks, it is all part of the bigger picture here in this Tribute/Op-Ed piece!!!
It was the Florida Marlins first season in Major League Baseball. I’d long been an Oakland A’s FAN-addict 😛 but something drew me to this idea of an expansion team with the cool logo in those cool colors. They’d drafted former Kansas City Royals player, Jeff Conine, now known affectionately as Mr. Marlin! As of 2003, I’d have two teams, one in the AL, The Oakland A’s and one in the NL, The Florida, now Miami Marlins!
Anyone who lives in Kansas, either you’re a fan, aware of them, follow them, or get the KC Royals shoved down your throat by legions of fair-weathered fans who ignored the team while they looked like the MLB equivalent of The Bad News Bears and had a twenty (20!) years stretch of last in their division standings. I notice the fair-weathered fans are QUIET again. Why is that? Anyways….This article IS NOT about them so let’s get back to the subject at hand, the life, times, MLB career of one, José D. Fernández!
ONE thing crossed my mind! Why José D. Fernández of The Miami Marlins? Why him? Why?
He was only 24 years young. He was one of the most electrifying and dominant pitchers to enter MLB since Roger Clemens debuted on May 15, 1984 with The Boston Red Sox & exiting 4,672 strikeouts later pitching for the Red Sox most despised rival, The New York Yankees on September 16, 2007.
Why José? Why him? Why?
He debuted for the Miami Marlins on April 7, 2013 and in three-and-a-half years he earned the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 & was a 2x MLB All-Star in 2013 & just this year. Had he lived, I’m sure he would have captured the NL Cy Young Award AND more-than-likely, the NL MVP Award.
**Ramón Jiménez, Fernández’s stepfather, defected from Cuba in 2005, settling in Tampa, Florida.
**He survived imprisonment in a Cuban prison in 2007 at the age of 15 after being caught trying to defect Cuba for a greater life in the GREATEST Country on Earth, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
**He had made three unsuccessful attempts at defecting Cuba. Fernández, along with his mother and sister, defected in 2007. On that successful attempt, José’s mother fell overboard when the boat hit turbulent waters, and José had to dive into the water to save her life. They reached Mexico, and then moved to Tampa in 2008.
**Fernández considered his grandmother, Olga, the “love of his life”. After six years apart, Olga and José were reunited in Miami after the 2013 baseball season.
**He made a triumphant comeback after having Tommy John Surgery in 2014.
**On April 24, 2015, Fernández became a citizen of the United States!
**Fernández, on September 20, 2016, announced that his girlfriend, Maria Arias, was pregnant with their first child on.
** José D. Fernández used his story and celebrity status to HELP others through his philanthropy work with residents of Florida & in his homeland of Cuba.
While OBVIOUSLY still grieving the tragic untimely death of beloved teammate, José D. Fernández, the Miami Marlins returned to work Monday play the New York Mets. While baseball is a game, it is a job, that is called work. Unless a volunteer employee, everyone at the stadium is paid employee so everyone went back to work!
To honor their star pitcher, employee and teammate, the Marlins announced they will retire José D. Fernández’s No. 16, no date announced for number retirement ceremony as of 11:11am CST on Tuesday, September 26, 2016 as I type this piece.
They wore José D. Fernández’s No. 16 uniform in tonight’s game against the New York Mets, a game they won, 7-3, no doubt the Marlins won in honor of their fallen teammate!
“No one will wear No. 16 again,” owner Jeffrey Loria said Monday. For once, Jeffrey Loria displays class!
It had been a whirlwind weekend for the Marlins. José D. Fernández, the 24-year-old ace starting pitcher, died Sunday morning following a boating accident. It has been reported from multiple sources that an argument with his pregnant girlfriend, , is what spurred hid decision to go boating. He called upon his friends to join him on the trek, a decision everyone who is left behind do-doubt wishes the three would not have decided to do!
The Marlins’ Sunday game against the Atlanta Braves was quickly cancelled, as it rightfully should have been!
Statement from the Miami Marlins regarding the death of José D. Fernández posted on Twitter:
Statement from the Miami Marlins organization: pic.twitter.com/6A4Rv6m2g9
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 25, 2016
FINALLY…..To dispel gossip and rumors, it had been announced as I was writing this piece that the US COAST GUARD had determined that Alcohol and/or Drugs WERE NOT a factor is the deadly accident that killed Fernandez and his two friends & boat passengers, Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias. A final determination on the factors of alcohol and/or drugs will be known once Toxicology results are returned from a lab. They were killed as a result of the impact of the crash, and did not drown, Lorenzo Veloz, an official with the Florida Wildlife Commission, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The boat carrying Fernandez and two others was traveling at a significant speed when it struck rocks.
José D. Fernández
2016 Stats courtesy of ESPN:
ERA W-L SO WHIP
2.86 16-8 253 1.07
*****I think a petition should be started that would honor José D. Fernández by modernizing and changing the name of The Cy Young Award to The José D. Fernández Award or come up with a new award to honor young MLB pitchers for in their first (3) threes of uninterrupted MLB pitching service wit the exception of the service time being due to injury!*****
Born: July 31, 1992 in Santa Clara, Cuba.
Died: September 25, 2016 at the age of 24 in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
Rest In Paradise, José D. Fernández!
Why José? Why him? Why, José? :’-(
From José D. Fernández InstaGram:
*****This piece was undoubtedly the HARDEST thing I’ve written since my own Mothers obituary in 2005. Hearts are hurting, WORLDWIDE! Jose, people will forever miss your spirit, charm, smile, boyish personality, dominance on the mound, bravado, swagger and your unwavering passion for life, baseball, your family, your friends & your fans! You pitched a PERFECT GAME & now it’s time to celebrate it for eternity just as everyone you touched will celebrate you for eternity. Enjoy the big dugout in the afterlife! THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES!!!*****
R.I.P. José D. Fernández!!!