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José Fernández Funeral Procession

José Fernández | Mike Ehrmann

Family members, teammates, and fans went out to pay their respects and say their last goodbyes to Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández. Among them was Maria Arias, Fernández’s girlfriend. Arias makes her first public appearance since the news broke of his passing. The memorial service was held Wednesday, September 28th at St. Brendan’s Catholic Church in Miami, Florida.

Maria Arias | John Parra
Maria Arias | John Parra

It was an emotional scene as teammates surrounded and walked alongside the hearse which carried his casket. Fans chanted the players name, laid flowers, and Cuban flags in his honor.

Miami Marlins players and other members of the Marlins organization and their fans gather next to the hearse carrying Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to pay their respects as they pass in front of the Marlins baseball stadium on September 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. | John Parra
Miami Marlins players and other members of the Marlins organization and their fans gather next to the hearse carrying Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to pay their respects as they pass in front of the Marlins baseball stadium on September 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. | John Parra

José Fernández and 2 others died Sunday morning, September 25th in a tragic boating accident. The boat they were on crashed into a jetty and the accident remains under investigation.

Born in Cuba, Fernández was determined to defect to the United Sates. He attempted 3 times and in one instance even saved his mothers life when she fell out of the boat they were on. After being caught twice and having served prison time, his determination led to success when he defected in 2008. His success continued as he was named NL’s rookie of the year in 2013.

The incredible athlete who is mourned by many, leaves behind 24 year old girlfriend Maria Arias who is expecting. Days before his death Fernández posted a photo to his instagram with adoration for his family. The post is a photo of Maria Arias in black and white, lovingly holding her baby bump. The caption reads, “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKkAGyzAY68/?taken-by=jofez16&hl=en

José Fernández was 24 years old.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHSxIUFAgSj/?taken-by=jofez16&hl=en

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