Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Forever starts today"

The name of the boat comprises the scorecard term
for a swinging strikeout - the backward 'K' - and
was applied to the boat in Marlin logo and colors
You probably heard that a rising baseball star, José Fernández, pitcher for the Miami Marlins, was killed early Sunday in a boating accident. The boat he owned crashed into a rock jetty early that morning, and he was killed, along with two friends.

It's known that Fernández was at a dockside bar at 2:20 that morning, and the Coast Guard found the wreckage and the three victims at 3:30, so sometime in that 70-minute span, something awful happened.
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At first, I thought of writing about the sad loss of three lives, especially that of Fernández, whose harrowing attempts at defecting from his native Cuba are part of his interesting story.  It took four tries.  The first three times he tried, he was arrested and put in jail for "Being a traitor to Fidel Castro." On his fourth try, he was finally successful, but only after diving into the Gulf of Mexico to save someone who had fallen off the boat he and others were on.  

It was not until he had rescued that person that he found out that the person was his own mother.

So that makes it doubly - infinitely  - tragic that he lost his life in the water.  

Make what you will of this: on Monday, the day after he died, a bag of baseballs Fernández had autographed, seemingly as a gift to one or both of his friends Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, washed ashore in Miami Beach.

Meanwhile, the Marlins team all dressed in jerseys with José's name and #16 for their game on Monday night, and there was quite a moving ceremony on the field.  The team has retired that jersey number, and there are plans to make permanent the memory of a young man who had lived through so much, and still had so much ahead.

"It's our job to make his life matter, so we're going to do that forever, and forever starts today," Marlins president David Samson said Monday.

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