Clint Hurdle, the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, remembered Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning for being more than a superb competitor and fierce adversary.

For Hurdle, Fernandez was a remarkable young man whose death reminded him of the brevity of existence and how important it is to “be where your feet are.”

“If you use your eyes and ears, there’s reminders throughout your week that life’s short and you don’t call the shots. A sense of gratitude and a sense of joy needs to be more prevalent,” he told reporters (via MLB’s Adam Berry). “In my experience with that young man — I spent three-and-a-half hours with him on a dais at the baseball writers’ dinner in 2013; he was in very close proximity to me — it’s just a tremendously engaging young man. We had a lot of commentary that night.

“Since then, whenever we played them, he’d come up and put his arm around me like he’s an old soul. ‘Hey, papi! How you doing, man?’ When I walked around that corner today, I saw his picture and thought it was another news story. Then I stopped and saw the caption. It took my breath away.”

Hurdle, himself once a can’t-miss baseball phenom, went on.

“It’s just sad. It’s so horribly sad on so many different levels that there’ll be no more of that, there’ll be no more of him, there’ll be no more of that emotion on the mound, that skill-set, that human being, that young man with such a gift, such a great smile.

“I’ve been trying to live that  life for a while now I wasn’t always in that place. It just makes all the more sense when things like this happen. Be where your feet are. Enjoy the moment. There’ll be a day when there won’t be another day.”