Baseball: Not Just A Sport / by Ricardo Marquez

I'm buzzed in my apartment and figured I should write something so lets see how this goes....

7 years ago on a cold April morning, I woke up to my phone vibrating near my head. Like many of you, I'm attached to my phone and typically sleep with it. After wiping the crusts in my eyes and drool off my face, I looked at my phone and noticed I had an avalanche of text messages. "Omg I'm so sorry" "I just heard the news" "Dude, I can't believe it..." is what I read. I was confused because nothing had happened to me. I was sleeping in my parents RV because well, I have no idea why and was already confused why I was in there. After logging into Twitter, I found out the news about Nick Adenhart. My heart sank because I literally saw him pitch no less than 10 hours after I got those texts. I remember just sitting there with a knot in my stomach and some tears building up in my eyes. My heart was crushed and just kept thinking of what could have been and remember thinking "I never want to feel this again". 7 years later, I had that same knot in my stomach and hole in my heart.

Jose Fernandez was a breath of fresh air. He was something this baseball community needed and was a beacon of light to a pretty uptight game. Every time I saw him on tv, he was constantly smiling and just having a good time. As I got to know Jose Fernandez the baseball player, I couldn't help but be a huge fan of his. The guy was someone I wish all players would be like. Someone who saw baseball as just a game and not something to take so seriously. Someone who was just happy to be there. Someone who, despite what people thought, just wanted to pimp the hell out of his home run. Then, I found out more about Jose Fernandez, the man.

I've known of the plight a lot of Cuban players face when coming to this country and Fernandez story was just incredible. The man spent a year in a Cuban prison due to a failed attempt of defecting to this country. The man jumped in frigid waters to save his mother from drowning during another try at coming to America. These are all stories you've probably heard and if you haven't, please do yourself the service and read about some of these. It's insane how much adversity Jose and his family had to go through just to get here. And now... he's gone. 

It's always heartbreaking to hear when someone who was nothing but good on this earth is taken away from it. And this one is a tough one to get through. Like most people, I only know Jose through what I saw in games, interviews and through other people who dealt with him on a daily basis. I can't believe he's gone and this one is gonna sting for a while just because of how much of an influence he had on anyone who saw him. When stuff like this happens, you can't help but think how short life really is and what really matters in your life. Baseball might seem like "just a sport" to some but to a lot of us, it's the people that make the game something special. And Jose was that...special.