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Jose Fernandez wanted to pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays

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MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We are not done mourning the loss of Jose Fernandez as a baseball community. With his death have come several articles worth your time.

Ben Lindbergh on how Fernandez was taken too soon. The Tampa Bay Times on how smiles can mix with disbelief in moments like these. Dee Gordon showing us there is crying in baseball, in the most heartfelt way. Grant Brisbee on watching baseball through tears.

Not all the stories bring comfort, though.

Yahoo Sports has a haunting tale of the man who attempted to dissuade the three young men from boating that night. It’s a depressing tale, one suffused with regret, and toward the end of the article is one further note of what could have been.

The Miami Marlins ace, a product of Alonso High School in Tampa, wanted to pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Later that year, [Fernandez] was practicing in the offseason at Alonso High in Tampa, from which he graduated after he defected. A Tampa Bay Rays executive happened to be scouting another player there, and he ran into Fernandez, who said he had been thinking about it, and he’d love to play the last five years of his career for the attendance-allergic Rays. “I can put asses in seats,” Fernandez said. He was 20. He hadn’t thrown a single major league pitch.

The executive thought to himself: Who the hell does this kid think he is? Jose Fernandez. That’s who. He willed people to love him, and when they started to understand the enormity of his personality, they couldn’t help themselves.

Jose Fernandez was of course more than just a Tampa athlete. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft. The 2013 Rookie of the Year. The ace of the Miami Marlins, a two-time All-Star, and a father-to-be. By all accounts he was, at 24 years old, an incredible young man.

He was also a refugee, who dove into the waters to save his mother during their fourth (and final) attempt to flee Cuba. A hero, and a beacon of hope to the Hispanic community.

You can read the full story of his defection on Grantland.

Do so, and remember Jose Fernandez’s journey once more. Be thankful we have re-opened relations with Cuba so that stories like Jose’s never need to happen again in our neighboring waters. And consider the plight of so many refugees around the world today.

May we never forget him or his story. May we learn from his experience, and have empathy for our common man. Maybe then we will understand a little better why he pitched with such joy, and learn to love our neighbors as ourselves more than we do today.

It would have been so wonderful to see him end his career as a Tampa Bay Rays pitcher. Fate is so often unkind.

Jose was a hero to so many. He continues to be one today.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images