The next time baseball fans take 17th Avenue toward Marlins Park for home games, they might be driving on Jose Fernandez Avenue.
Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to name a three-mile stretch of the thoroughfare from U.S. 1 to North River Drive in honor of the team’s fallen superstar, who died alongside two young men last month when his boat slammed into a jetty off South Beach.
The avenue runs north and south, just to the west of the stadium. It belongs to the county, so Miami-Dade commissioners would have to follow suit in order for Fernandez to be posthumously memorialized as the city requested.
County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who represents Little Havana, said he’s crafting legislation that he hopes will see a vote early next month.
Fernandez’s death at the young age of 24 shocked the country and Miami, and not only because he was among the best young pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. Fernandez also supported philanthropic efforts and was beloved by Miami’s Cuban exile community after he fled the island on a boat and rescued his mother along the way after she fell in the water.
In bringing the proposal Thursday, the office of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo wrote that “Jose Fernandez’s life story of flight leading to freedom and sacrifice leading to success has become a beacon of hope and a signal of inspiration for a number of residents within the city of Miami.”
Commissioners also voted Thursday to officially express condolences for Fernandez’s family and friends.