Monday, September 26, 2016

MY HEART HURTS


Some of you are aware I am a huge Marlin's baseball fan. I watch all 162 games each year and the players are my boys of summer. Not the boys--but my boys. I get quite attached.

If you follow sports, all you heard Sunday was the news of the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, Miami's 24 year old pitching ace who was killed in a boating accident. The testimonials have been endless and tears from grown men and yours truly have run their course. No one, not even the young and talented are guaranteed tomorrow.



I became aware of Jose when he was our first round draft pick fresh out of high school in 2011 and I have followed him since.  I did a post about him in 2013 extolling his virtues as a player and as a fine young man of 20 years. You can read about him and his amazing story from my post here. His defection from Cuba would make a good movie.

He took nothing for granted. He often said to those born American that they couldn't appreciate freedom as it was just given to them at birth.  Jose tried three times to defect to the US and was caught each time. He was shot at and jailed as a 13 year old in prison with hardened criminals. He had to fight for his freedom and no one was prouder than he becoming a US citizen.

Jose brought more than amazing skills to the game. He brought a love for baseball that was clear. Whether he pitched or was the main cheer leader from the dugout, it was evident that he was delighted with his station in life.  He played with the joy of a child in a notoriously money sport. It was still a game for him.

Though he only pitched very 5 games, he was in our homes almost every night for he was the camera's favorite focus in the dugouts as he patrolled looking for someone to talk to. He was either picking the brains of the veteran players or sharing a laugh with a friend even on the days he pitched.

Sadly, he had just announce that he and his girlfriend were expecting a daughter in four months. He was thrilled about the coming adventure of parenthood. She is now an unofficial but pregnant widow. She must be destroyed.  My heart goes out to her, his mother and beloved grandmother plus all the family members for whom he was the breadwinner.

I will miss so much "Jose Day" that I looked forward to every 5 days. I will miss his great smile that he took with him on the field. Yes he was competitive but was also very quick to smile and poke fun at himself.

He wanted to bat, he wanted to shag balls for hitters, he wanted to sign autographs long after others had left the field and he wanted to enjoy things we take for granted each day. His joy for life was constant.

I sometimes think I will just wake up and this will all be a bad dream. It seems that unreal.  I will miss that young man so very much but I am ever so grateful for the imprint he made in my life  and on the sport he and I both love---baseball.

RIP young man. You were an absolute joy to watch.

46 comments :

  1. You've written a wonderful eulogy for him.
    It's a loss for more than a team. Perhaps someone will make that movie of him - his is an inspiring story.

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    1. Marty,
      Thank you and I agree. His story should be told and a movie would be perfect though sad like Brian's song.

      Fran,
      I agree also.

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  2. I saw the headlines and basically passed them by. Not a sports fan, I did not know this young man. Now you have made me love him and morn the loss. He left us along with another sports great, Arnold Palmer. Thanks for sharing this lovely eulogy for Jose.

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    1. Annie,
      I am glad you were able to learn about the marvelous young man behind the headlines. Sunday as a dreadful day for sports fans with Arnold's passing also.

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  3. What a tragedy this is. I heard about it but don't follow baseball, so I didn't know his life story. Thank you for sharing it and I am so sorry this happened. Blessings to his wife and unborn child. :-(

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    1. Djan,
      I know, the part about his girlfriend and unborn child hit me hard. At least the baby will have pictures and sweet stories about her Dad.

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  4. It's such a tragic double loss for the sporting world. Two men who transcended their sports. I'm sorry for your suffering, and for all those who cared, deeply, for either man. Such a worse tragedy that Jose was taken SO young.

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    1. Silver Willow,
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes the age and lost potential was so cruel. I just learned about Arnold this AM. What a hard day Sunday was.

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  5. He has left his part and will not be soon forgotten.

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    1. Gail,
      I know I won't nor do I feel the Marlins will forget him either.

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  6. Thank you for writing this, Patti. I never watch baseball and I know absolutely nothing about it. And yet, when I read about Jose Fernandez's death, I thought he sounded familiar to me, but I couldn't remember why. It was you who introduced us to him years ago. Such a fine young man, such a sad loss.

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    1. robin,
      Thank you robin. Yes you were here when I wrote the first post. His story I felt transcended sports.

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  7. When the young die it's out of the normal sequence we've grown accustomed to in life. It's a shock. It hurts a lot. Bless you my friend.

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    1. Linda,
      Thank you and you are right. The young should have the right to grow old and it is a shock when that doesn't happen.

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  8. Oh, how very tragic that this should happen to such a young, talented wonderful young man. Thanks for sharing this with us Patti. Sending hugs your way.

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    1. Carole,
      Thank you so much. The hugs were gratefully appreciated.

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  9. My heart hurts for Jose and his family and loved ones... I remember your post ---although I couldn't remember his name. I know you and many others are devastated... My love and prayers go out to you.... So sad about the girlfriend and upcoming baby.... What a tragedy.

    Hugs to you,
    Betsy

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    1. Betsy,
      Thank you , it does just hurt. Thank you again for emailing me about the tragedy. Otherwise I would have missed all the tributes to him.

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  10. I've never heard of him but the loss of anyone young and talented is always harder to bare. What a lovely tribute to him. He was a good looking guy too.

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    1. Joey,
      I know, we expect the young to just go on and it never seems right when they don't.

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  11. Replies
    1. It was terrible when I heard about the accident that took his life. He will be missed.

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  12. I only knew of this young man because of your post of him. I knew when I learned of his death that you would be moved by it. So sorry for your loss, his families terrible nightmare to live with and of course the Marlin franchise and fans. xoxo Oma Linda

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    1. Linda W,
      Thank you so much. Monday's game was a nine inning cry for about everyone. It was so hard seeing his teammates just dissolve.

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  13. Another young man gone far too soon. How awful for fans and friends to see the videos of the wreckage.

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    1. Carolyn,
      I know, the pictures of the wreckage left no doubt that there were no survivors and it had to break the hearts of the families.

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  14. I don't follow baseball but I did read about this tragic accident. He sounds like a wonderful example of a human being and so I am saddened by the world's loss.

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    1. Olga,
      Thank you and me too. He was a true bright light that just couldn't stay.

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  15. I was so sorry to hear about this tragedy and I thought of you, Patti. I remembered that the Marlins are your team and I knew how sad you must be. My heart also goes out to Jose's family, team-mates and to all his fans during this sad time.
    Hugs, Cheryl

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    1. Cheryl,
      Thank you so much. It has been rough for his baseball family and I imagine almost impossible for his close knit birth family.

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  16. I heard about this. So sad. He certainly was well liked and headed for great things. My Dad and Brother-in-Law died in a boating accident. Boating can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. A life vest may not guarantee your safety, but it is more than worth the discomfort.

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    1. Barbara,
      Oh Barbara, I am so sorry for the terrible loss you had to bear. I too am huge on life vests.

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  17. We heard about this loss to the Marlins, of course, but it didn't mean much until I heard it through your words. I am sorry for your loss.

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    1. Linda R,
      Thank you Linda. I know you are a sports fan with the Sounders and you know how attached we can get to the players.

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  18. So sorry for the loss of a fine young man.

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  19. Oh my gosh, I just read the report. His two friends were killed as well. So Sorry for their families.

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    1. Brig,
      Sadly those two friends of his have recieved almost no mention and it seems they were with him when he needed a friend. The whole situation is so sad.

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  20. The news of his death was such a sad, sobering thing. I did not watch him much because we just don't seem to watch baseball much, but I can only imagine how devastating his tragic death was to so many. I am so sorry for his family and his fans. He truly had an amazing story. It truly is just so very sad. Hugs.

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    1. Sally,
      Thank you. My heart really goes out to his family and for the family of the young men who died with him. So sad.

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  21. Thanks so much for giving me the background on Jose. I don't watch sports and didn't know all the details. What an incredible loss. He seems to have been the epitome of what I envision as a true American.

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    1. Ginnie,
      Yes, immigrants like Jose are what makes this country so special. We all came from somewhere else.

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  22. He was a kind soul, I think, and I've been watching the news about him and how the team is struggling with the loss. Very sad!

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  23. Those with special talents and personalities to die so young is tragedy itself. Our eldest left us at the same age beloved by all who knew him...

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