MIAMI (AP) – Miami Marlins players have gathered at the team’s ballpark to grieve together following the death of teammate Jose Fernandez.
The 24-year-old pitcher and two of his friends were killed when their boat smashed into a jetty off Miami Beach early today. Authorities say the 32-foot boat was demolished when it hit the rocks at full speed.
Marlins president David Samson told reporters, “A lot of words were said, meaningful words and emotion and prayer.” At a news conference, Manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill flanked Samson and fought back tears.
Hall of Famer Tony Perez, a Marlins executive and fellow native of Cuba,” said “all I can do is scream in disbelief,” adding that he feels as if he lost a son.
Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year and was enormously popular in Miami.
The Marlins’ game Sunday against Atlanta was canceled. Their home game Monday night against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled, the team said.