Remembering Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer
The two sporting icons passed away on September 25th, 2016
Their backgrounds seemingly could not have been any different. One grew up in suburban Pennsylvania, the other, in Santa Clara, Cuba. Jose Fernandez (aged 24) and Arnold Palmer (aged 87) both passed away on September 25th, 2016.
Fernandez died tragically in a boating accident early Sunday morning in Miami, Florida. The pitcher, who came back from Tommy John surgery the previous year, was having his best ever season as a professional with a 16-8 record and a 2.29 ERA. This was Fernandez’s first full major league season since debuting as a 20 year old in 2013.
His seemingly unlimited potential, combined with his likeable and infectious personality made him one of the most popular players in the game he loved. Fernandez defected from Cuba successfully in 2007, after three previous failed attempts, including jumping in to save his mothers life who fell overboard on the successful attempt. His determination in life matched his intensity on the mound as his career was just geting started.
The Miami Marlins cancelled their game today in wake of the tragic event and all around the majors, teams and players alike paid tribute to Fernandez by observing moments of silence, hanging his number 16 in the dugout, writing his initials on their hats, and paying their respects in tweets.
I tend to stay off of Twitter on start days but I cannot believe the news about Jose Fernandez. The game and the world just lost a great one— Jon Lester (@JLester34) September 25, 2016
Although not officially retiring from golf until 2006, Arnold Palmer experienced his best years of golf back in the 1960s. Arguably one of the greatest golfers of all time, Palmer won four Masters tournaments, one US open and two British Opens in his career as well as participating in the Ryder Cup for the United States six times. His 62 PGA tour wins ranks 5th all time.
Although maybe not as unexpected as Jose Fernandez’s death, Palmer made an impact on the world wide golfing community as shown by being the first golfer to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in given in the United States. Like Fernandez, golfers from all over the world paid their respects to Palmer through twitter.
Remembering the special times I spent with Mr Palmer at Bay Hill. A true pioneer for our sport. Forever remembered. pic.twitter.com/qJQBpDWTWv— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) September 26, 2016
The death of a legendary sports figure and a rising star in one day is a lot to take in. Despite the difference in backgrounds, there is no denying that these two athletes were both influential in their own right. Fernandez, to the hispanic baseball community and Palmer, to an entire generation of current and future golfers. As emotional as the day has been, it is important to keep moving forward, and for current athletes to continue to show the determination and love for the game that these two athletes displayed. Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, you will both be missed.