Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins’ star pitcher who died in a boating accident in September, was married to a woman named Alejandra Baleato Marichal before he threw his first pitch for the Marlins.
The State of Florida Marriage Record, obtained by the Miami Herald, notes that Fernandez and Marichal were married Dec. 2, 2012, in Tampa. They were both 20 at the time.
Reached on Friday, Marichal, still living in Tampa, confirmed she was married to Fernandez from 2012 to about 2014.
“It was very short,” she said of the marriage.
The two started dating in 2009. She said his death was very difficult, although she said she made it to Fernandez’s memorial services in Miami.
Fernandez’s family attorney, Ralph Fernandez, no relation, said the marriage was not a secret. He said the two were high school sweethearts.
“Yes, he was married. It was short term. The marriage became stressful — he became famous. He traveled and problems arose,” Ralph Fernandez said. “I don’t think they were mature enough to handle it. It was resolved amicably.”
The lawyer said the family was troubled by the recent reports because of the “impending birth of the family.”
TMZ first reported that Fernandez was divorced, and released a copy of his death certificate Friday.
Fernandez, 24, was “FOUND ON Sept. 25, 2016,” the death certificate states, noting that the “OCEAN, NORTH JETTY OF GOVERNMENT CUT” in “MIAMI BEACH” was the place where his death occurred at 3:15 a.m.
Under the subhead “SURVIVING SPOUSE, DECEDENT’S RESIDENCE AND HISTORY INFORMATION,” the certificate lists “MARITAL STATUS: DIVORCED.”
Fernandez’s girlfriend, Maria Arias, was expecting their first child at the time of his death.
Fernandez, according to the death certificate, was cremated at Gold Coast Crematory in Fort Lauderdale.
Fernandez was the Marlins’ first-round draft pick in 2011 out of Tampa’s Alonso High.
At the time he was married, Fernandez had just completed his first full season in the minors for the Marlins, pitching at both Single A Greensboro (North Carolina) and Jupiter. He made his Major League debut for the Marlins on April 7, 2013, and went on to be named the National League’s Rookie of the Year.
Miami Herald sportswriter Clark Spencer and news researcher Monika Leal contributed to this report.