Don Mattingly has been involved with Major League Baseball since September 8, 1982. In his time he has seen and experienced so much in the big leagues. However, nothing could prepare the legendary hitter on what it would be like to lose one of his players. On Sunday, that grim reality struck Mattingly as he addressed the media on the untimely and far too premature death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. Mattingly broke down into tears when remembering the talented and promising right-hander.
“I see such a little boy in him –,” Mattingly stopping to attempt to fight back his emotions. “The way he played. It was just joy with him, when he played. When you watch little kids play Little League, that’s the joy that Jose had when he was playing.”
The Marlins canceled their game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday due to the death.
Fernandez was one of three people who were killed when the 32-foot boat they were in collided into a rocky jetty off Miami Beach around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Jose won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and had an astounding career ERA of 2.58 over his four seasons. This season Fernandez led all starting pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings with 12.49.
Jose Fernandez was only 24-years-old.