Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TODAY ; Marlins' Fernandez Remembered as Larger Than Life at Private Mass

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TODAY ; Marlins' Fernandez Remembered as Larger Than Life at Private Mass

Article excerpt

MIAMI - Despite all his accomplishments, Jose Fernandez never pitched a complete game, and on Thursday he was carried out of church in a casket with too much unfinished business. The choir struck up "God Bless America, and mourners began to cry yet again as they joined in, celebrating the place that welcomed the Cuban defector and now must say goodbye.

The last formal farewell came at a private Catholic mass attended by about 300 friends and relatives who nearly filled the large sanctuary. Those in attendance included Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, busloads of current and former Miami Marlins players, former Marlins manager Jack McKeon and two Hall of Famers, Marlins executives Tony Perez and Andre Dawson.

"We weren't supposed to be here today, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said.

"It's very difficult to understand this, the Rev. Jose Alvarez said. "Why so young - someone with such bright promise?

Fernandez, 24, and two friends died in a boat crash early Sunday near Miami Beach.

The bilingual service lasted more than two hours, and much of the time was spent celebrating Fernandez's dynamic personality, rather than his considerable exploits as the Marlins' precocious ace.

The bulletin for the mass included three photos of Fernandez, and each captured his familiar grin.

"His magnetic smile could light up a ballpark, Loria said. "He set the standard for making baseball fun.

Pallbearers wore black Fernandez jerseys as they carried his casket, while Marlins manager Don Mattingly and third baseman Martin Prado read scripture. The team has grieved in public and offered moving tributes to Fernandez while finishing out the final six games of the season, which ends Sunday.

During the passing of the peace, players lined up to hug and console Fernandez's mother and grandmother, seated in the front row. He also left behind a girlfriend pregnant with their child. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.