Miami Marlins SP Jose Fernandez Dies at Age 24 in Boating Accident

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

MIAMI, FL - MAY 04: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on May 4, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images
Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident, the team announced Sunday morning, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.

Andy Slater of 940 AM WINZ reported the boat Fernandez was on hit rocks going full speed and flew about 30 feet in the air before landing upside down. He added that one victim was found in the water and two were found under the boat. Fernandez was 24.

On Monday, authorities, via Baseball Tonight, revealed the boat was registered to Fernandez and announced that the other victims were Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias. The investigation into the accident continues, via Baseball Tonight.

A public visitation for Fernandez will be held on Wednesday followed by a private funeral ceremony on Thursday, via a Tuesday report from ESPN.com news services.

"The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez," the team said in a statement on Sunday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Marlins manager Don Mattingly also expressed his thoughts at a press conference, via SportsCenter:

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SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Marlins Manager Don Mattingly tearfully remembers the life and legacy of José Fernández. https://t.co/BeuYgxHPHV

Major League Baseball, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also released statements:


We are stunned and devastated by the tragic news that Jose Fernandez, 24, has died in a boating accident. https://t.co/QIBcnIYJ1i https://t.co/SDZoL6NMEb

MLB Communications @MLB_PR

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement regarding the passing of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández: https://t.co/i0AYqg5zEq


Statement from #MLBPA50 Executive Director Tony Clark on the passing of Jose Fernandez of the @Marlins ... https://t.co/yioRP3qGS9

Sunday's game between the Marlins and Atlanta Braves was canceled, but the team will play Monday against the New York Mets, team president David Samson told reporters.

The Miami Dolphins will hold a moment of silence in honor of Fernandez before Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan in Atlanta and Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel passed along photos of the scene at Marlins Park, while Jon Weisman of the Dodgers showed Marlins shortstop Dee Gordon paying tribute to his teammate:

Kevin McAlpin @KevinMcAlpin

Heartbreaking scene outside Marlins Park. https://t.co/J5IYIcJXQS

Tim Healey @timbhealey

Outside Marlins Park, fans start to put flowers outside an entrance gate. https://t.co/8j79bkkOSE

Jon Weisman @jonweisman

Dee Gordon kneeling at the mound tribute to Jose Fernandez (via @MLBNetwork) https://t.co/pe9Wraswvd

Teammate Giancarlo Stanton took to Instagram to express his thoughts:

Fernandez was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and a bright young star.

"You recognize how precious life is," Samson said, per MLB Network Radio. "And how taking things for granted is a fool man's game."

"When I think about Jose, I see such a little boy," Mattingly told reporters. "The way he played, there was just joy with him."

"We're not robots," Marlins infielder Martin Prado told reporters. "We're humans. He made an impact on everyone. I understand we have to play games. But there's a lot of pain."

"Jose Fernandez is one of the most genuine guys I've ever played with," former Marlins starter Dan Haren tweeted. "He loved life, he loved baseball...he will be missed dearly."

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tweeted: "Absolutely crushed hearing the news about Jose. Brought so much energy and passion towards life! You will be missed Papo RIP."

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout also passed along his condolences:

Mike Trout @MikeTrout

Absolutely devastated hearing about Jose. Thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends, and Marlins org.

Fernandez defected from Cuba at the age of 15. He had previously been caught trying to leave the country and spent time in a Cuban prison. From those humble origins, he became one of baseball's most charismatic, talented and beloved players.


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