This weekend, Univision will premiere a new documentary on former Marlins pitcher José Fernández, title JDF16: A Little Kid in the Big Leagues, chronicling the life and times of Fernández, from his youth in Cuba to his harrowing defection from the island, and finally to his major league career and untimely passing. The documentary is a joint production between Univision Noticias and Univision Deportes, and will debut on Univision.com on April 15.
Today, Remezcla is premiering an exclusive clip from the documentary, featuring Fernández’s mother retelling the now-famous story of the pitcher diving into the water during their defection to save a woman who fell overboard, without knowing that it was his mother he would be saving. You can view it above.
When Fernández tragically passed away in a boat crash last September (along with two of his friends), he left behind a legacy of Cuban excellence and determination in the heart of unspeakable oppression. He also left behind a support system of family, friends, and fans that spoke constantly about his love for baseball and for living his new life in the United States as joyfully as possible.
During his stint on the Marlins, Fernández became a fan favorite not only because of his blistering fastball and pinpoint control, but because of the joy that he played the game with. He celebrated teammates’ accomplishments like he himself had won the World Series, and he approached every at-bat like the last batter of a perfect game.
Unfortunately, the manner of his death has caused some fans to grapple with Fernández’s legacy, after a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was released in March, placing the pitcher at the wheel when his boat, the Kaught Looking, crashed off of Miami Beach. The report concluded that Fernández had alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of impact, and the subsequent crash not only claimed his life, but the lives of Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduard Rivero.