[Update: Oct. 29] Authorities have released information regarding José Fernández's autopsy. Read below.
Miami Marlins pitcher, José Fernández, died in a horrific boating accident on Sunday, September 25. CNN is reporting that the 24-year-old Cuban-American and two other men were killed when their boat crashed into a rocky jetty around 3:15 am.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly gave a heartbreaking press conference a few hours after the news broke.
He talked about Fernández's playfulness on and off the field.
"When you watch kids playing Little League...that's the joy that Jose played with — and the passion he felt about playing," Mattingly said while holding back tears.
Marlins president David Samson also spoke at the press conference. He said Fernández's had a charismatic personality that resonated with all baseball fans.
"The magnanimity of his personality transcended culture, religion and race, I mean it just did," Samson said.
The team canceled its scheduled game against the Atlanta Braves.
The Marlins drafted Fernández in 2011. He soon became their star pitcher.
MLB named him National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and a two-time all-star. He even pitched a perfect sixth inning in the 2013 all-star game.
But his road to becoming a pro-baseball player — and an American citizen —wasn't an easy one for the Cuban-born athlete. In fact, his death is a huge blow to the Cuban-American community because his life reflects so many of their own struggles and stories.
Fernández attempted to defect from Cuba three times. Cuban authorities even imprisoned him at 14 for attempting to escape to the United States.
On his fourth attempt, Fernández fled with his mother and sister. His mother almost died after being thrown overboard, but Fernández dove in to save her.
"I dove to help a person not thinking who that person was," Fernández said in an interview with The Miami Herald in 2013. "Imagine when I realized it was my own mother. If that does not leave a mark on you for the rest of your life, I don't know what will."
Fernández officially became a US Citizen on April 24, 2015.
"This is a dream that I've had since I was little, and actually achieving it is really amazing," Fernandez said to ESPN. "Having my family here and so much support from this amazing country, it's really fantastic."
In 2013, the Marlins arranged for Fernández to be reunited with his grandmother after years of being apart.
The Marlins secured his grandmother a visa to visit her grandson — and see him pitch in the major leagues. The team captured the surprise reunion on video.
"Oh my God," Fernández says in this heartwarming video. "You've got to be kidding me."
He also posted many pictures of his grandmother on Instagram.