José Fernández may be gone, but he’s far from being forgotten. On what would have been his 25th birthday, family, friends, former teammates, and fans have paid tribute to the former Miami Marlins pitcher affectionately known as “Niño.”
Last summer, a tragic accident took the life of Fernández just days after he revealed that he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child together. The devastating news was made all the more heartbreaking when only a few days prior, Fernández made an emotional tribute to his girlfriend and their future together.
While Fernández’s life may have been cut tragically short, the baseball star’s girlfriend and their 5-month-old daughter continue to keep his legacy alive.
Fernández, who defected from Cuba at 15-years-old and went on to become a baseball star, was found dead with two other men after their capsized boat was discovered at the entrance of Miami Harbor, Florida on September 25th. Authorities said that the 32-foot vessel slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach.
Only a matter of days before the accident, José Fernández revealed to fans with an Instagram post that he and his girlfriend, Carla Mendoza, were expecting their first child together. The picture showed Fernández’s girlfriend on the beach holding her baby bump alongside an emotional caption.
“I’m so glad you came into my life,” José Fernández wrote on the Instagram caption alongside the picture of his expectant girlfriend. “I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together.” The Marlins’ pitcher followed the caption with a hashtag that stated: “family first.”
In honor of Fernández’s 25th birthday, an outpour of tributes have appeared on social media almost a year after the tragic accident. However, none was quite as emotional as his family and daughter visiting Marlins Park.
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