Perhaps the person in the best position to explain what the 24-year-old meant to those around him and how his loss has affected those same people is ESPN baseball analyst Eduardo Perez.
Perez, a former Marlins hitting coach who joined the team's broadcast booth this year and developed a bond Fernandez, with whom he shares Cuban heritage, was also teammates with St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile when he passed during the season in June 2002.
"He risked his life. And he did it multiple times, and he would do it for anyone," Perez told Hannah Storm on air. "That's the beauty of Jose, and that's how I would remember him. I would remember him, every time, every game in Miami, he would do it for his grandmother, or his mom. Oh man, it's tough. It really is. Just to see how good he was on the field and how great he could have been is what the city of Miami and the rest of Major League Baseball—and the impact he would have had on the rest of the game. Because there was so much life to him."
Watch the full remembrance here:
For those unfortunate to never really watch the kid play, smiling was a cornerstone of his game.
He'll be missed more than he could have ever known.