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FGCU students react to the death of Jose Fernandez

Reported by Emily Kois and Miguel Rodriguez.

Marlins pitcher, Jose Fernandez, 24, was killed in a boating accident the early morning of Sept. 25 in Florida, confirmed by the Marlins.

According to USA Today, a Coast Guard crew found the 33-foot boat overturned on a jetty around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, said Chief Nyxolyno Cangemi. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will lead the investigation, Cangemi said.

The Marlins have canceled its game against the Atlanta Braves, scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The team is due to finish its season in Washington next week.

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A young player of the league, Fernandez quickly became an impact player. He was a Cuban-born pitcher who immigrated to the United States in 2008 after three failed defection attempts. Fernandez settled in Tampa and became a citizen in 2015. He was drafted 14th overall out of Tampa’s Alonso High School by the Marlins in 2011.

Though he was a young player, he quickly became an inspiration to most. With a rough past, Fernandez was the true definition of the “American dream” and motivated many on and off the mound.

“Jose’s passing was hard to comprehend at first,” sophomore forensic studies major Randy Butrim said. “I knew we lost a truly amazing baseball player and human being. Jose was an idol for many people and he was a reminder for me to live life with passion and love everything that I do.”

After his 2012 and 2013 season, the 2013 rookie became an All-Star. In 2012, he went 14-1 with a 1.75 earned run average with 158 strikeouts in 134 innings and his career only took off from there.

In Fernandez’s 2013 season, he went 12-6 with a 2.19 earned run average and struck out 187 hitters in 178-2/3 innings, ranking him among the best for a pitcher that young in history.

His success furthered when he won the National League rookie of the year award and finished third in the Cy Young voting.

In 2014, Fernandez only made eight starts before he underwent Tommy John surgery for his right elbow.

After making a full recovery, Fernandez came back better than ever. Sadly, this success came to a devastating end.

Just days before his game in Atlanta, the world was shocked by this tragedy. With a game cancellation on Sunday, fans got to witness an emotional Monday night against the Mets. Tweets were sent out by the Mets organization stating that, “This was bigger than baseball.”

“I was at the game the day before [Saturday] and when I woke up I had numerous texts from friends who knew I loved the Marlins,” said Sophomore forensic studies major Karla Moreno. “It’s strange because I didn’t know him personally but yet I felt like someone from my family was gone.”

Fernandez’s last start came Tuesday, Sept. 20 against the Washington Nationals. He went 16-8 with a 2.86 estimated run average and 253 strikeouts in 182-1/3 innings this season, and finished his career at 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA, averaging 11.2 strikeouts per game.

Baseball was struck by a loss that truly stunned the entire nation. Jose Fernandez brought together players from all over the globe and had some fun while doing it.

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