(WSVN) - 2016 was a memorable year for the Miami Dolphins, but it was also a heartbreaking year for South Florida sports fans. 7’s Mike DiPasquale has the top sports stories of the year in tonight’s 7’s Top 7.
2016 had its share of triumphs and tragedies in sports.
South Florida lost one of baseball’s brightest stars. Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident on Miami Beach. The 24-year-old pitcher played the game with passion and a sense of pure joy.
Commentator: “This is the best day of the week for Jose Fernandez. It’s the day he gets to pitch.”
Fernandez embraced a community who in return showed a genuine affection for a young man they adopted as one of their own. The impact of his death was felt deeply by his teammates and his fans.
Cesar Quirog: “We’re always going to remember him. He will be history for the Marlins, and he was one of the best pitchers ever.”
The sports would would also mourn the loss of “The Greatest” of all time, Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!”
At age 74, the three-time former heavyweight champion of the world could not go the distance after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
In 2016, one of the most beloved athletes in South Florida did something no one anticipated. Heat star Dwyane Wade left Miami after 13 years to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls.
Dwyane Wade: “It was great to walk in and see so many faces.”
With Wade, Miami won three NBA titles and made five trips to the Finals with him as the team leader.
Wade wasn’t the only Heat player to not return to the team.
Chris Bosh: “Setbacks happen, but that doesn’t change my intentions and what I want to accomplish.”
Chris Bosh would also leave the Heat in a public and messy fashion. Bosh was set to lead Miami, but the Heat decided they couldn’t take a chance with Bosh’s health after he suffered blood clots.
This year, the Dolphins hired new head coach Adam Gase. Known as “the quarterback whisperer” for helping QBs jump-start their careers, Gase worked with Ryan Tannehill even after a 1-4 start.
In week 14, Tannehill suffered a hit to the knee, knocking him out likely for the rest of the season. Even with backup quarterback Matt Moore, the Dolphins will have their first winning season since 2008.
For the first time since 2008, the Dolphins are in the playoffs. Also, for the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series.
On Saturday’s 7’s Top 7, we take a look back at the biggest entertainment stories of 2016.
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