The Miami Marlins host a public memorial for pitcher Jose Fernandez Wednesday afternoon.
The sendoff for the righty ace takes place on the West Plaza at Marlins Park. It begins at 2 p.m. The motorcade carrying Fernandez’s body departs from the ballpark where he enjoyed tremendous success at 2:16 p.m. The time matching the player’s #16 is an intentional nod to Fernandez. The team plans to retire the number, now appearing behind the pitcher’s mound, at a later date.
The route ultimately takes the procession to St. Brendan’s Catholic Church, which invites the public to an open viewing between 5 to 11 p.m. On Thursday, teammates, close friends, and family celebrate Fernandez’s life at a private mass.
The 24-year-old died early Sunday morning when a boat he traveled in crashed into a jetty right off shore in Miami. The pitcher and two others passed away in the accident.
In four seasons, two truncated by Tommy John surgery, Fernandez amassed a 38-17 record and registered a stingy 2.58 ERA.
Fernandez escaped from Cuba after three failed tries to get drafted by the Florida Marlins, which boasted a fanbase of Cubans, in the first round in 2011. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2013 for the Miami Marlins, which changed its name shortly after drafting him, and enjoyed one of the highest strikeout ratios in baseball, two All-Star nods, and a tremendous home record that witnessed his first loss at Marlins Park in dozens of career starts earlier this season.