Jose Fernandez had the potential to be one of the best pitchers of all time. His triple digit fastball and devastating slider were a lethal combo. One year ago today, Fernandez lost his life in a boating accident.
Over the course of his career, Fernandez put together a 38-17 record with a 2.58 ERA. He tallied up 589 strikeouts in just 471 innings, while taking home the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year award.
Fernandez last start was arguable his best. He threw eight shutout innings against the Nationals, allowing just three hits and striking out 12, five days before his death.
One year ago today, Jose Fernandez pitched the final game of his career. This man had such an amazing future ahead 😢 pic.twitter.com/Kh6tFDBZ62— Kent (@RealKentMurphy) September 20, 2017
Fernandez was scheduled to pitch in the 25th, but the Marlins pushed back Fernandez start in order for hit to pitch against the Mets the following day. Instead of preparing for a start, Fernandez was out partying the night of his death.
His death devastated not only the Marlins, but the entire game of baseball. Tributes from players and fans poured in, including the Marlins wearing his uniform in his honor. It was the first time in MLB history that en entire team wore the same uniform number other than Jackie Robinson’s 42.
The most emotional tribute was when teammate Dee Gordon lead off the first game since his death with a home run. It was his first, and only, home run of 2016. Gordon, who is not a power hitter, broke down almost immediately after touching home plate.
Marlins' Dee Gordon hits a home run on the first pitch he sees following the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, 2016. pic.twitter.com/oTRMYq6f6K— Athlete Videos (@AthIeteVids) March 25, 2017
The baseball world still misses Fernandez to this day. The Marlins lost their ace, and the game lost one of its biggest personalities. Fernandez was a fantastic pitcher, and a superstar in the game. Rest easy, Jose Fernandez. Baseball misses you.