By Jon Weisman
Baseball fans woke to tragedy and shock this morning with the news that José Fernández and two others had been killed overnight in a boating accident.
“José Fernández was one of the nicest, most respectful, young players I ever had the pleasure of getting to know. My heart is shattered,” SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo said on Twitter this morning, expressing the sentiments of so many.
“The fact that José, his mom and others risked their lives to flee Cuba, saved her from drowning, only to die in this way, is incomprehensible,” she added.
Hermano, wherever you are, you know how much I loved you. Sin palabras. My heart is with the families. pic.twitter.com/JGVSRYXlMf
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 25, 2016
Said former Dodger pitcher Dan Haren on Twitter: “José Fernández is one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever played with. He loved life, he loved baseball. … He will be missed dearly.”
For Dodger fans of my age, it was instinctive upon hearing the news to think instantly of former Dodger pitchers Tim Crews and Bobby Ojeda, who were in a 1993 Spring Training boating accident that took the life of Crews and their new Cleveland Indians teammate, Steve Olin. Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated wrote a devastating story four months after that accident, and Jon Saraceno and Bob Nightengale of USA Today revisited in 2013.
Fernandez was 24 years old.
The Dodgers share in baseball's devastation over the death of José Fernández and offer his family and friends our sincere condolences. pic.twitter.com/dvSzF80FxM
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 25, 2016