TAMPA, Fla. — He was supposed to be playing for the San Diego Padres Single-A team this summer, but when the pandemic hit, like many Americans, Joe Fernando lost his job.
“When I got signed in February 2020, it was the best day of my life,” said Fernando.
Following a successful college career at Bethune-Cookman University, Joe Fernando was rounding the bases heading for home in 2020, a shot at the big leagues with the San Diego Padres.
“The thing you’ve been working for your whole life, you finally been recognized, you’re good enough to be part of an organization, so I was really looking forward to going out there, proving myself in spring training,” said Fernando.
However, his field of dreams came to an end before he ever got to score a run.
“I went to spring training, I got to be there for a week, Coronavirus hit, they sent us home,” said Fernando.
Now Fernando is just another Joe, living in Tampa, trying to pay the rent in like many Americans.
“I got the call I got released from my contract, which sucks. I can’t sugarcoat that,” said Fernando.
Down but not out, Fernando reverted to his college major, health and exercise science.
“I like seeing the enjoyment people get of working out, people do things they never thought they could, it doesn’t take long for your body to transform,” said Fernando.
One client at a time, he is building his team as a personal trainer.
“I’ve worked with clients young to old, athletes, non-athletes, as long as people are enjoying the workout, feeling better, seeing the results, that’s the most important part of it,” said Fernando.
Fernando said his new career is fine for now, but he is still hopeful that he’ll get to finish what he started back as kid and play in a major league baseball game one day.
“I’m still confident I can get in, and once I get my foot in the door to play, anything can happen, I always believe in my abilities, every league I played in at this point I did really well,” said Fernando.
For more information on training with Fernando you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.