José Fernández, the young ace of the Miami Marlins pitching staff, died in a boating accident early this morning, the team announced. He was 24 years old.
“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time,” the team wrote in a statement. The team also announced that its game today against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park in Miami has been canceled.
According to multiple reports, the 32-foot boat Fernández was on with two others was found overturned on a jetty off Miami Beach at roughly 3:30 a.m. The boat, according to reports, was traveling at a high speed when it struck rocks; no drugs were found at the scene, and alcohol was not expected to be a factor in the crash. Reports also state Fernández was not driving the boat, and he died as a result of the impact of the crash, not drowning.
During his brief career, which spanned just four Major League Baseball seasons, the Nike-wearing pitcher posted a 38-17 record, with 589 strikeouts and a 2.58 ERA. This season, Fernández accumulated a record of 16-8 with 253 strikeouts and a 2.86 ERA.
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“All of Baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández. He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in a statement.
Aside from his stellar performance on the pitching mound, Fernández was known for his charismatic personality and beaming smile, whether on the diamond, in the dugout or in the bullpen. On Tuesday, Fernández posted a photo on his personal Instagram account of his pregnant girlfriend, writing “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst.”