"Well here it is, this is the end, you can go on or you can go back and do it again, but you have to do it the same way." - Arnold Palmer speaking on his retirement from professional golf.
While television began evolving more and more in 1960 so was the sport of golf thanks to Arnold Palmer. With his genuine respect for the game, the people who played and those that watched, Palmer quickly became an ambassador bringing golf to the masses as a gentleman's game.
Palmer was the gleaming image of golf for seven decades and within a four- year period of the 1960's
he won 21 tournaments. Long before Michael Jordan became a marketing endorsement magnet it was Arnold Palmer who had paved the way for athletes. Palmer was the first of it's kind of any sport and he continued to pioneer golf even after retiring. Everything from designing his own golf courses, to his own clothing and golf clubs, and even his own lemonade/ice tea had his signature and imprint on it. Why, even last year he made $40 million in endorsements. Not bad for an 87 year-old, huh?
Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87 last week, but he left a true legacy that measured greatness by living life as a true, genuine gentleman.
Florida baseball player Jose Fernandez, an up and coming pitcher for the Marlins passed away in a boating accident at the tender age of 24 just hours after Palmer. Jose showed much promise as he was a dominating pitcher on the mound but it was his love of the game, the passion he played with, and the joy he brought his teammates that will be remembered. With Marlins attendance struggling in recent years to sell out games, Fernandez brought an exuberance to the game whenever he pitched that attendance actually rose on the days he was scheduled to pitch.
Jose's joy and love for playing a kids game stemmed from his freedom from Cuba. He escaped Cuba as a 15 year-old after three failed attempts. He began working with kids in the Cuban communities within Miami enlightening them with his story that anything is possible.
Both of these great athletes made an impact on life and those around them, but one was short-lived which is why it's important to make the most of your time here on earth while you still can.