Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Miami Marlins baseball team, died in a boat crash at the age of 24 on Sunday.
But days before his tragic death, Fernandez revealed he and his girlfriend Carla Mendoza were expecting their first child together.
Posting a photo of his pregnant girlfriend to Instagram, he shared his excitement at the prospect of becoming a father, saying: “I’m ready for where this journey is going to take us together.”
But yesterday, the 24-year-old’s life was cut tragically short, along with two others, after a boat he was on crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach.
The capsized boat was found shortly after 3am, but authorities could not confirm the time of the crash.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the 32-foot vessel had a ‘severe impact’ with large rocks that form part of the jetty, the BBC reports.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Todd Garofalo told local news station WSVN: “They found a boat that was up against the jetties. They did do an initial search and they found three victims – two on top of the water, one underneath the boat and they had unfortunately passed away.”
Officials said Fernandez, who escaped from Cuba by boat with his mother as a teenager, was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the crash.
On Sunday, America’s athletes came together to pay tribute to Fernandez.
The Major League Baseball organisation released a statement saying it was ‘stunned and devastated’ by the news.
Fernandez was the club’s first-round draft pick in 2011 and was finishing up on his finest season in the major league, the Miami Herald reported.
Thousands of tributes have been pouring in on social media:
Jose Fernandez was 1 of the biggest talents I'd ever seen & a heart to match. Devastated by this. Heart goes out to Jose's family & @Marlins
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) September 25, 2016
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Jose Fernandez. Jose represented hope, inspiration and greatness.
— Dan Marino (@DanMarino) September 25, 2016
I had the opportunity to meet Jose Fernandez in 2014. Our prayers are with his family and the Miami Marlins. pic.twitter.com/gZ8O5ArHZS
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 25, 2016
What a tragic death.
RIP – our thoughts are with the families and friends of everyone who lost their lives in this horrific crash.