You’ve seen tributes from every journalist, Twitter personality, on-air personality, etc. But to understand how much this hurts to Cubans, Latinos, Miami-ans, and all of the MLB, please, I beg you, listen in full to Eduardo Perez:
This isn’t people exaggerating how great someone is just because they passed (*cough* tupac *cough*). Was on his way to the hall of fame, there’s no doubt. But today, who cares. He was above that, a guy who jumped into the water in pitch black to save a woman drowning in the water during an escape from Cuba. He found out after saving her it was his mother. A guy who loved the mother of his future child. Or who survived at least 3 failed defections and jail time in Cuba to bring his family a better life.
You don’t have to know anything about baseball to feel this. Personally haven’t followed baseball closely in 5 years, and am not at all qualified to be writing any sort of tribute to Jose Fernandez. But one thing I know about alllll of baseball, is that Jose Fernandez was, at his core, the happiest guy in the world. Not just a guy smiling, a genuinely happy guy that made people around him smile, constantly. It transcended sports, cultures, and languages. That’s my biggest takeaway from Eduardo’s tribute. Yes, he was a force in the Cuban community, and in the Marlins organization. But above that, dude just loved life. Plain and simple.
And I think that we can all agree, that when we pass one day, we want people to remember us the same way. Not just as being good at our jobs, or finding success in this or that. But rather, we all just want to be remembered as someone who loved life. Rest easy big fella.