Jose Fernandez took the National League by storm this season at merely 21-years-old. The recently named Rookie of the Year finished the season with a 2.19 ERA and a 12-6 record for the lowly Florida Marlins. While his on-the-field exploits are other-worldly, his off-the-field story is even more impressive.
Fernandez was born in Cuba and unsuccessfully attempted to defect to the United States with his mother three times before finally making it to U.S. soil on their fourth try. During their final attempt, his mother was rocked from the boat at night in rough seas and Fernandez jumped out to save her, not knowing who fell in the water — he was only 15.
After they moved to Tampa, Florida to be reunited with his father — who he hadn’t seen in four years — he developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the country. Fernandez was a first round draft pick in 2011 and is already one of the most exciting pitchers in baseball. This past year has been one giant coming out party for Fernandez, but one person has been missing — his grandmother.
Recently, MLB.com filmed a surprise reunion of Fernandez and his grandmother, who he hasn’t seen in the five years since he left Cuba.
The shocked look on his face when he sees her is priceless.
Fernandez and his family members were overcome with emotion during the reunion.
Fernandez has a tattoo on the inside of his bicep with his initials and the names of the “two loves of his life” — his mother and his grandmother, who he describes as a “baseball freak.”
Now, if you think you can handle it, watch the entire video — complete with melodramatic music.