Understanding Death in Baseball

Baseball has a long and storied history. This blog aims to explore more of that history and show how nothing happens in a vacuum. How the past connects us to the present and indeed points to the future.

Baseball this week mourned the death of 24 year old Jose Fernandez, a man who at 24 had already survived 3 failed attempts and 1 successful attempt to defect from Cuba, had jumped in the ocean to save his own mother, won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and then suffered an injury requiring surgery to repair the same arm that had brought him so far. He became an American citizen. He recently found out he was going to be a Father, then Sunday him and two friends were taken from us in an accident.

Yet we would be remiss to talk about Jose Fernandez without talking about Mike Darr, Darryl Kyle, Roberto Clemente, Thurman Munson, or Oscar Tavares to name a few. Other major league ballplayers whose future were cut too short off the baseball field. How the death of Fernandez inspired Dee Gordon to hit a home run the following day in his first at-bat – his first of the season. How his laughter and joy for the game will inspire countless of others playing Little League baseball here and in his homeland of Cuba.

There are more important things in life than baseball. Absolutely. Yet sometimes, when the important things like the life of three young men in Florida who went out for a ride on a boat late Saturday and baseball collide – baseball is all we have to make any sense out of the tragedy.

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