MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins and the South Florida community came together on Wednesday to say goodbye to Jose Fernandez.
The former Marlins pitcher was killed on Sunday morning in a boating crash off Government Cut.
A funeral procession that began at Marlins Park departed the stadium at 2:16 p.m. and will head to two Miami churches for a prayer service and a public viewing.
Marlins president David Samson spoke with CBS Miami’s Lauren Pastrana on Wednesday and while so many people remember Fernandez for his baseball abilities, Samson was quick to remind that family always comes first.
“The number one thought on everyone’s mind is his family, his mom and his grandma,” Samson said. “We want to celebrate Jose’s life at some point in the future but right now it’s about mourning. It’s about coming to grips with something that is truly unimaginable.”
Coming to the United States as a Cuban immigrant with his mother, his story resonates with so many people both locally and around the United States.
“He represented freedom, he represented hope for so many thousands, so many millions of people in this community and around the country and around the world,” Samson said. “The outpouring of love and support for him is so unique because of his story, and that is the responsibility and the burden that the players feel right now, to make sure that story always gets told.”
Fernandez will be remembered for so many reasons, baseball related and otherwise, and the Marlins players and staff have said they will make sure of that.
“Our burden and responsibility is to make sure that Jose’s legacy is carried on for future generations so his story can be retold and retold again, and that will happen,” Samson said. “That’s the kind of love that we want to show his family, that he’s a part of this community and the Marlins family forever, and so are they.”