The baseball world turned silent with sorrow on Sunday morning when sources confirmed that Marlins ace right-hander Jose Fernandez had been killed in a boating collision. The young flamethrower was a two-time All-Star with a brilliant 38-17 career record and a 2.58 ERA. With the lowest FIP of any starting pitcher in the Live-Ball era, Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in baseball at just 24.
As the entire MLB community mourned the loss of such a young star and inspiration to fans, several Mets took to social media to express their sorrow and best wishes for his family.
No words can fully express a loss like this...baseball and the world lost a true warrior today. Rest in peace brother.— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) September 25, 2016
Terrible news about Jose Fernandez. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.— Jacob deGrom (@JdeGrom19) September 25, 2016
Stunned over the tragic news about Jose. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.— Matt Harvey (@MattHarvey33) September 25, 2016
Yet, Fernandez was more than just a brilliant pitcher; he was a model and hero for the Hispanic and Cuban community. The pitcher was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, and, after three unsuccessful attempts, finally defected in 2008 for a better life in the United States. He took no time to make his Cuban community proud. In his rookie year, Fernandez was named to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and won the National League Rookie of the Month Award in both July and August. After the season, he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and finished third in Cy Young Award balloting.
Thus, the passing of Fernandez was especially heartbreaking for players of Hispanic heritage on the Mets.
RIP José Fernández. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and close ones during these very… https://t.co/hPsCwqlnza— Jose Reyes (@lamelaza_7) September 25, 2016
In a touching tribute to the fallen pitcher, the Mets hung a special Fernandez Mets jersey in their dugout. The official team Twitter account shared a moving moment of Cespedes taping the jersey honoring his Cuban brother to the wall.
Bigger than baseball. #RIPJose #brothers pic.twitter.com/YOc1TGqEKK— New York Mets (@Mets) September 25, 2016
The Mets, like the rest of MLB, honored Fernandez before Sunday’s game against the Phillies. Though teams and fans took the time to say goodbye to a phenom, they certainly will not forget the legacy he was just beginning to create.