The city of Miami turned out on Wednesday to remember one of its brightest stars, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. He was a man who not only wowed crowds with his pitching ability, but whose work in the community inspired those around him and whose attentiveness made people feel special, most importantly those who are often overlooked.
This was an opportunity to celebrate a life. Fernandez’s teammates and the city did just that. Players quietly remembered their teammate and friend, placing a hand on the hearse before it began its funeral procession to La Ermita, the National Sanctuary to the Patroness of Cuba, where the casket would be blessed.
Players, as well as Cuban baseball Hall of Famer Tony Perez, place hands on hearse. pic.twitter.com/H4l3VMB0Tw— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) September 28, 2016
Citizens of Miami turned out in the middle of the day to pay their respects and chant for Jose one last time. His teammates walked with the hearse on its route to the church.
Crowds joined in prayer awaiting the procession’s arrival. Some fans turned their jerseys around so Fernandez’s name and number would be front and center. It wasn’t about the Marlins today, it was about Jose.
The service paid tribute to Fernandez’s roots in Cuba, but also the nation he escaped to and the one that became his home.
Pallbearers all wore Fernandez’s jersey as they carried the casket into the church.
The Jose Fernandez's casket is making its way inside St. Brendan Catholic Church followed by teammates, family and friends pic.twitter.com/B4tBr5w1gs— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) September 28, 2016
Crowds lined the streets outside the church to pay their respects.
Fans lined up down along the street to personally pay their respects to Jose Fernandez pic.twitter.com/KBJmomLt6d— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) September 28, 2016
A funeral mass will be held for Fernandez on Thursday.