How one Marlins teammate is honoring Jose Fernandez on Election Day

Jose Fernandez becoming a U.S. citizen in September 2015. (AP)
Jose Fernandez becoming a U.S. citizen in September 2015. (AP)

Last September, Jose Fernandez became a U.S. citizen. On Tuesday, he would have voted for our president for the first time.

That’s not happening, of course, because Fernandez, the 24-year-old Miami Marlins ace was killed in a September boating accident. Fernandez was born in Cuba and risked his life to come to the U.S., getting caught and put in jail three times when he was still a teenager. Once he finally got here, Fernandez made it a point to officially become a citizen.

That’s not lost on Tom Koehler, another of the Marlins’ pitchers who had been in the starting rotation with Fernandez since 2013. He said he’s bringing Fernandez’s spirit to the ballot box with him on Election Day:

The message here isn’t “Hey, feel sorry for Jose Fernandez” — he clearly made some poor choices the night of his fatal accident. But that’s not the point. Instead, the point is this: Appreciate the freedoms you have to cast a vote about who will lead our country and the issues in your local community. There are many disgruntled and disenfranchised voters our there who think the process stinks or their vote doesn’t count.

Consider this some perspective. A lot of people — whether Jose Fernandez, someone in a country with fewer freedoms or someone working to become a U.S. citizen — wish they could cast a vote on Election Day. Don’t pass up your opportunity.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!