I have to admit that the death of Jose Fernandez has hit me harder than any other celebrity passing. As a huge Marlins fan I've dedicated a lot of my life to following this club. I know it sounds silly but when you dedicate that much, the players (although complete strangers) almost feel like family. We go through many ups and downs and it seems like we experience that together. Jose was a unique personality that always exhibited enthusiasm for the game and life...on days he pitched and days he didn't. It really was, as manager Don Mattingly said, like watching a kid playing in Little League. It was refreshing and an absolute treat. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball at the age of 24 and no doubt would have become better. This kid simply had the world in the palm of his hands.
The fact that he has his first child on the way and broke that news 6 days before his death makes it even harder to swallow. The fact that he was originally slated to start yesterday's game and likely wouldn't have been out that late if they hadn't moved his start to tonight makes it even harder to swallow. The fact that he meant so much to the entire community of Cuban Americans makes it even harder to swallow. I can't imagine how emotional tonight's game will be but I have to go through it as a sort of celebration. I also had to create this drawing as a sort of celebration.
Jose Fernandez was a bright shining light and I'm glad I got to enjoy some of it from a distance. Rest in peace, young man.