The international sporting community is reeling, following the death of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández, regarded by most as one of the sport’s greatest stars.
Fernández died on Sunday, in what authorities have called a boating accident. The 24-year-athlete and two other men were found dead, after their 32-foot boat had been discovered near Miami Beach.
“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time,” read the statement released by the Marlins on Sunday.
Naturally, the Marlins match that had been scheduled for Sunday, has been canceled, following the news of Fernández’ death.
Echoing the sentiments of the Miami Marlins was the Major League itself, which also issued a statement on Sunday.
“We are stunned and devastated,” read the Major League Statement.
“He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life,” said Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Sports broadcaster Buster Olney said he had never encountered a sportsman who experienced as much joy as Fernández did on the field of play, adding that he was one of the most passionate athletes in the United States.
ESPN co-host Dan Le Batard felt the same.
“This kid is a symbol for Cuban-American life and the things that can be accomplished in this country,” said Le Batard.
Communicating via his twitter feed, fellow Major League pitcher Marcus Stroman, of the Toronto Blue Jays, said he could not believe this had happened to such a talented athlete.