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Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez would have turned 25 years old Monday, but the special day was a somber one for the slugger’s mother who lost her only child in a boating crash last September.
Maritza Fernandez and other family members visited the Miami Beach jetty where the Cuban-born player took his last breath, to pay tribute to a young life cut short.
Fernandez’s mother spray painted the words “Happy Birthday” and “JDF16” on the rocks. The photos were posted to Facebook along with the caption in Spanish “My beautiful boy, wherever you are today, we are all going to remember and miss you so much.” She also placed white flowers and candles on the rocks and launched “Happy Birthday” balloons into the air.
In May, Maritza Fernandez spoke exclusively to NBC 6 about her son’s death. She said every day she grieves and tries to understand that fateful day.
“Every night at 10:50, I expect him to walk through the door. In the morning, I take him his coffee like I always did; light candles and talk to him,” Maritza said. There are so many questions she wants answered. “Papi, I want you to explain to me what happened.”
Fernandez was operating his boat when it slammed into the rocky jetty, killing himself and two other men, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero. Alcohol and drugs were determined as factors in the crash, according to a toxicology report.