The Miami Hurricanes will honor the late Jose Fernandez with helmet stickers during Saturday’s game.
The South Florida community lost a loved one last weekend when star Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died. Fernandez, who was just 24 years old and in the midst of a budding Major League Baseball career, was killed in a boating accident with two others on Sunday morning.
To honor Fernandez, the Miami Hurricanes will wear “JF16” stickers on their helmets when the team faces off against Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta.
For the Cuban community, Fernandez was so much more than just a star athlete. He was a symbol of freedom – he failed three times attempting to defect from Cuba before finally making it on his fourth at the age of 15 with his mother – and success – Fernandez won National League Rookie of the Year and set an MLB record by winning his first 17 home decisions.
“He represented freedom in a way that mostly no one here can understand,” Marlins president David Samson said Sunday.
Fernandez also impacted the community off the field, giving back to those who supported him on it.
“For all those fans, what Jose would want, in my opinion, is for everybody who loved him to just make sure you always remember him and remember what he stood for [and] to tell the stories to your kids and your grandkids about what it is to fight for freedom.”