Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez won the NL Rookie of the Year Award on Monday following a season in which he compiled a 12-6 record and an impressive 2.19 ERA. Believe it or not, winning the award is not the most amazing thing that happened to the 21-year-old in the past week.
In July, the Miami Herald published a story about the relationship between Fernandez and his grandmother. Olga Fernandez, who Jose describes as a “baseball freak,” had not seen her grandson since he defected from Cuba six years ago when he was 15 years old. The Marlins changed that on Sunday when they were able to bring Olga to Miami for a surprise visit. Jose had no idea she was coming.
“She’s my everything,” Jose told the Herald during the season. “There’s nothing more important than her.”
In fact, Jose said his 68-year-old grandmother even helps him scout MLB opponents during their daily phone calls.
“She tells me, ‘The Phillies are good, but you are better,’” he said. “She says, ‘Here’s the game plan: We’re going to go at them hard and away, and low. Stay down in the zone. Breaking balls in the dirt, but not too many because those are bad for the arm.’ I told her the other day that they have me throwing 95 to 100 pitches a game, and she screamed, ‘What?!’ I don’t think she knows I’m 6-3, 230 pounds now. She still sees me as 15 years old.”
If you’ll excuse me, I think it’s getting a little dusty in here. I need to go rinse out my eyes.
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