Heavy rain Tuesday afternoon did not stop baseball fans from heading to the West Dade home of Jose Fernandez to pay respects to the Marlins superstar pitcher, who died early Sunday at age 24 in a violent boating accident off South Beach.
One by one, curious onlookers slowed down their cars in front of the house. Some took photos. Others got out and laid balloons, flowers and Marlins ball caps at the driveway gate. A couple of T.V. crews and reporters chronicled the scene.
Shortly before 2 p.m., a motorcycle police escort and a black funeral limousine pulled up to the house. The doors opened and Fernandez’s grieving family and other loved ones dressed in black walked onto the front porch. A woman who appeared to be Fernandez’s mother, Maritza, covered her face and got into the limo with a few other people. They were promptly whisked away.
Fans are invited to gather Wednesday at the Marlins Park West Plaza for Fernandez's final departure from the ballpark at 2:16 p.m. The procession will travel to Ermita de la Caridad (Shrine of Our Lady of Charity) in downtown Miami (3609 S. Miami Ave.), for a blessing.
A public viewing will then be held from 4 p.m. to midnight at St. Brendan Catholic Church (8725 SW 32 St.) A private funeral for Fernandez will be held Thursday.