Sunday, September 25th 2016, was a sad day for the sports world, both locally and nationally. Two nationally known sports icons lost their lives, as well as a local high school football player. Many people across the nation mourned, and are still mourning their deaths. Today, we take a look at those three individuals. Andre Jackson, a junior in High School; Jose Fernandez, a Pitcher in the MLB; and Arnold Palmer, a legend in the world of Golf.
Andre Jackson, 17, was a junior at the Euclid High School in Euclid, OH. A linebacker/fullback on the varsity football team, as well as a bright young student. During Friday night’s football game featuring the Euclid Panthers and the Solon Comets, a “Pooch Kick” went wrong as Jackson was hit hard in a defensive move. He walked off the field, but later went to the emergency room. Doctor’s released the young man on Saturday afternoon. Details have not yet been released as to the extent of his injuries, as well as their connection his death. Jackson passed away on Sunday.
Jose Fernandez, 24, came to the United States in 2007, defecting from Cuba with his mom. Many have heard the heroic tale of Fernandez’s mother, who fell of the boat during their defection. Fernandez was noted for leaping overboard to save his mother from the water. He became a Major League pitcher for the Miami Marlins in 2013.
While enjoying some needed time off, Fernandez was with some friends on a boat around three in the morning on Sunday. Details are currently unclear about the chain of events that lead up to the baseball player being ejected from the boat and killed. The boat was found upside down on a bank of rocks. Fernandez, just a few days earlier, announced that he and his girlfriend were expecting.
Marlins Manager Don Mattingly said “The way he played, there was just joy with him.” Fernandez’s number was painted on the pitchers mound in his memory. Players such as Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich can be seen kneeling in front of the mound, with Fernandez’s hat placed above the number. Teams across the MLB could be seen displaying his jersey in their dugouts.
Sunday’s game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves was cancelled due to the death, but the teams and fans gathered anyway. Fans brought flowers, and wore number 16 jerseys in his memory. They could be seen making a makeshift memorial for Fernandez pic.twitter.com/XVP26SYLou
The third sports player to pass away on that day was arguably the biggest name of all. Arnold Palmer, also known as the “King of Golf”, died at age 87. Alastair Johnson, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed Sunday afternoon that Palmer had passed away of complications from heart problems. He was admitted into the hospital on Thursday for cardiovascular work, but grew weak over the next few days.
“Everyone got hooked to the game of golf via TV because of Arnold.” said Tiger Woods when asked about Palmer. “Arnold meant everything to golf.”
Palmer had won 62 titles on the PGA tour, his last in 1973 during the Bob Hope Desert Classic. Four of his titles were won at the Masters, two at the British Open, and one at the U.S. Open. Palmer was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.