Miami Marlins ace, Jose Fernandez, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday Morning.
The coast guard arrived on the scene around 3 a.m. to find the 32-foot boat flipped upside down on a jetty off Miami Beach. Fernandez, 24, Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25 died on the scene. Spokesman Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that Fernandez died from trauma, not drowning.
Investigators believe speed was a factor in the accident. Alcohol and drugs were not found on the scene.
“It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,” Veloz said. “It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty and the accident happened.”
The Marlins canceled their home game scheduled Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. A 16 — Fernandez’s uniform number — was painted on the mound at Marlins Park on Sunday morning, and flowers rested on the rubber. Major League Baseball announced that there would be a league-wide moment of silence before each of Sunday’s games.
“Sadly, the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. “Jose left us far too soon, but his memory will endure in all of us. At this difficult time, our prayers are with his mother, grandmother, family and friends.”
Marlins president David Samson said in a news conference that Monday’s game against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled. He said Fernandez will be a member of the Marlins “all time.”
“The way he played this game, the way he was on the field, that’s a way how these guys can honor him,” Samson said.
Manager Don Mattingly and some Marlins players broke down during Sunday’s news conference. Mattingly said Fernandez played with the “joy” of a “little boy.”
Fans, players and the entire baseball world took to social media to share their personal experiences with Fernandez and express their condolences to his family.
Fernandez was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA this season, earning his second appearance in the All-Star Game. Fernandez, who was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013, was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA in 76 career starts for the Marlins.
Fernandez and his girlfriend Carla Mendoza were expecting their first child together.