MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Late Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez never shied away about his love for the open ocean.
He always thanked the waters that brought him to the U.S. and gave him a new life in Miami. And yet, those same waters took his life.
Fernandez and two friends were killed when his boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach.
But as mother told Radio Marti, the sea that consumed him is exactly where he wanted to be laid to rest.
It’s why on Sunday afternoon, Maritza Fernandez – along with family and friends – visited the site of the fatal crash to scatter his ashes.
“I’m doing what he liked to do… I went out to sea where it all happened to place some flowers and to scatter his ashes like we had always talked about,” Maritza Fernandez told Radio Marti in a note.
They wore T-shirts that had “Jose Day” written across. They also carried Cuban and American flags – a testament to his commitment to this country, this community and his heritage.
She even climbed onto the rocks where he died to leave behind flowers and balloons.
The small group then went to his favorite restaurant to honor him.
Family, friends, fellow players and fans have all honored Fernandez in their own ways.
His teammates donned black jerseys with his name and number in their first game following his death.
Outside Marlins Park, fans left flowers and balloons while also writing heartfelt messages on a wall.
The University of Miami Hurricanes football team wore a helmet decal with his initials and number.
During his funeral procession, Cuban restaurant La Caretta held a flag tribute honoring Fernandez and the Cuban-American community he represented. Fans and employees raised cups of cafecito in his honor.
And thousands attended his viewing, saying one final goodbye to the Cuban kid with the electric arm and a smile that delighted and charmed.
His mother expressed gratitude to everyone who loved him.
“Thank you to everyone who, from the bottom of their hearts, loved my beautiful son,” Maritza Fernandez said in the note.