The sports world reacted with shock and horror Sunday morning when news broke that Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández — one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers and ebullient personalities — died in a boating accident.
Sadly, Fernández joins a too-long list of professional athletes who have died while at or near the height of their powers and popularity.
Here’s a look back at 10 athletes we lost too soon, including Sunday’s most recent addition to the roll call.
10. Roberto Clemente, 1972
“Dream big, nobody can tell you that you can’t do it.”
That’s the advice Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández once gave in an interview when talking about his journey from Cuba to Major League Baseball.
The beloved baseball player who died on Sunday in a tragic boating accident tried several times to escape the communist regime of Cuba with his family. Fernández even served prison time for being a dissident. During his final attempt in 2008, he made it out with his mother, but their journey to the U.S. was a perilous one.