Sports world mourns the passing of the “King” and a Cuban legend

by David Caduto 878 views0

Yesterday was a bad day for the world of sports as the nation lost two iconic figures,  and another legend said good bye after being behind the microphone for an incredible 67 years.

arnold
Courtesy of ESPN

Arnold Palmer aka “The King” was the first golfer to really gather a following which would be appropriately nicknamed “Arnie’s Army.”

He revolutionized the game in so many ways and created what some would say was the first true rivalry in golf between himself and Jack Nicklaus.

It never became bitter, and they only drove each other to be better.

Having been part of the “Big 3”, Nicklaus, Player and Palmer, he was always gracious and cared about the fans because he knew they were they ones that paid his salary.

Among all the accolades, Palmer,  was the first golfer to earn one million dollars in a tournament.

His career spanned five and half decades and in that time Palmer racked up 62 PGA wins, 5th all time, seven majors (four Masters, two British Opens, and one United States Open) he also finished tied for second twice in the PGA Championship.

According to Golf Digest, Palmer made $1.7 million in 734 PGA Tour career starts over 53 years but it was never about the money, in his spare time he would give back to charities, and he was very business savvy having several ventures including the popular Half and Half ice tea beverage.

Palmer also designed over 200 golf courses around the world, along with becoming an avid pilot flying regularly.

He was 87 years old. Long live the King.

jose
Courtesy of Fox Sports

Jose Fernandez- The franchise pitcher for the Miami Marlins was only in his fifth season and was heralded as one of the best young pitchers in the game.  His resolve would be tested trying to defect from Cuba four times before finally being successful.

Once he made it to the U.S.  his talent was evident breezing through the Marlins’ farm system going from single A ball to the Majors in one year, which is unheard of today.

In 2013, his stellar rookie campaign of 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA, earned run average, and a 3.22 K to walks ratio earned him NL rookie of the Year honors and he finished third in the Cy Young race that year.

His dominance continued posting a 26-2 at Marlin Park over his brief 4 year career and overall was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA.

Before his tragic passing at only 24, Fernandez was able to play the All Star Game held in July.

 

Follow David Caduto on Twitter

@wannaberounder