I will not say José Fernández was my favorite baseball player.
Not because he was not my favorite baseball player. No, that is definitely not why. I will not say it because it is not enough. I cannot reduce him to that.
Today and in the coming days there will be a lot of things written about José. These things will be beautiful and poignant and heart-breakingly tragic. How could they not? How could a retrospective on the life of José Fernández be anything but? The focus could be on his talent - and God, what talent -, his journey to the United States - and God, what a journey -, his infectious smile - and God, what a smile -; no matter the angle, the story will be wonderful because he was wonderful.
I am not writing that today. I am being much more selfish.
When I saw José Fernández, I, whether rightly or wrongly, saw attributes that I wanted for myself. The work ethic, the enthusiasm, the joy, they were all things for which I looked up to him. He seemed to have an unparalleled love for life and a genuine appreciation for every second of it he had.
I have seen a couple of people say "love something as much as José Fernández loved baseball". There are a lot of lessons to take from José, but maybe this will be the greatest one. Our time here is limited and no matter how much of it we get, it will never be enough. Live life with as much love as José Fernández loved baseball.
No, I will not say José Fernández was my favorite baseball player, but I will say he was my favorite person that played baseball. The world feels emptier without him in it.
St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 26, 2016
Jose Fernandez was more alive than almost everyone else currently living. there is no better way to be a person— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) September 25, 2016
For the 1st time ever, there are 29 MLB teams wishing they could face Jose Fernandez tomorrow. That smile will be missed for a long time.— Andy McKay (@AndyMcKayHG) September 25, 2016
Hermano, wherever you are, you know how much I loved you. Sin palabras. My heart is with the families. pic.twitter.com/JGVSRYXlMf— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 25, 2016
No tengo palabras para describir el dolor que siento por la perdida de jose....adios amigo pic.twitter.com/f1HQmZd6Jo— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) September 25, 2016
I will miss you... Sorry if i never told you how valuable your friendship was too me... pic.twitter.com/HzstRZDBri— Tom Koehler (@TKREFRESH22) September 25, 2016
Jeff Mathis (@JMathSix) September 26, 2016
One of the good guys in the game! A legend, a friend and great soul. God bless, You will be missed by everyone. RIP#16 pic.twitter.com/6TEgz0K65a— Carlos Martinez (@Tsunamy27) September 25, 2016
José Fernández: A legacy of pure joy pic.twitter.com/M2gdCzB2p0— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2016
You have to have the right attitude when playing baseball. It's a game, smile and have some fun! -Jose Fernandez pic.twitter.com/j1wWZBsp9v— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) September 25, 2016