Fans continue to mourn the death of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández, who was killed in a boating crash early Sunday morning.
In light of the 24-year-old athlete’s passing, the MLB honored Fernández by posting a moving video on Facebook titled “José Fernández had an incomparable bond with his grandmother,” which documents the incredible reunion he and his Cuban grandmother shared in 2013.
After multiple failed attempts, Fernández successfully left Cuba with his mother when he was 15 years old, according to a 2013 profile by ESPN’s The Grantland. The pitcher explains in the video how difficult it was to leave his family behind, particularly his “baseball freak” grandmother who he said was the most important person in his life.
“Everything I do is for her, and I’m going to keep working hard. And hopefully one day she’s going to get to see me here,” he said, when asked to send a message to his grandma in Cuba.
Unbeknownst to Fernández, his grandmother was in another room ready to surprise him.
The MLB’s recently posted video is a reminder of Fernández love for his family, which at the time of his death was growing. News of the pitcher’s passing came just days after he revealed via Instagram that his girlfriend, Carla Mendoza, was pregnant with their first child.
Watch the emotional reunion between Fernández and his abuelita in the video above.