Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is gone far too soon, and his death is made even more tragic by the fact that the 24-year-old was looking forward to becoming a father. In an Instagram post the week before his death in a boating accident Sunday, Fernandez shared a picture of pregnant girlfriend Carla Mendoza and wrote: "I'm so glad you came into my life. I'm ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst," Mashable reports. The Marlins' Sunday game against the Atlanta Braves was called off and there were moments of silence held for Fernandez in other MLB games, the AP reports.
"All I can do is scream in disbelief," Cuba-born Marlins exec and Hall of Famer Tony Perez told reporters Sunday. "Jose won the love of all. I feel as if I had lost a son." The death has caused deep sorrow in Miami, where many empathize with his life story. As a teenager in 2007, Fernandez saved his mother's life during his fourth attempt to defect from Cuba. He "was just beginning to share and live the best parts of his realized American dream," writes Dan Le Batard in a moving tribute at the Miami Herald. "He had his first baby on the way. He worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get to the top of this mountain, and he barely had time to enjoy the view." (Read more Jose Fernandez stories.)