Report: Marlins to build Fernandez memorial

Report: Marlins to build Fernandez memorial

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez's legacy will be prominently displayed at Marlins Park.

The Marlins are planning to build a permanent memorial for Fernandez at their ballpark, according to a report by MLB Network's Jon Heyman. No specifics were given, and on Friday night, the club had no comment.

But since Fernandez was killed in a boating accident on Sept. 25, the Marlins have repeatedly stated they intend to keep his memory alive. Team owner Jeffrey Loria is on record saying he doesn't anticipate any Marlins player wearing No. 16 again. At this point, Fernandez's number hasn't been officially retired.

As the organization continues to develop the permanent memorial, Marlins Park already has an area where thousands have paid tribute to Fernandez. Message boards have been fixed to a column on the West Plaza, and they've been signed by thousands of fans.

Fernandez, a two-time All-Star, was winding down one of the best seasons by any Marlins pitcher when he and two companions were killed.

The hard-throwing right-hander was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA, and he set a franchise season record with 253 strikeouts.

So much of Fernandez's success came at Marlins Park, where he was 12-2 with a 1.63 ERA in 2016, and 29-2 with a 1.49 ERA in his career.

Posthumously, Fernandez has received two prominent awards. In October, he was named National League Comeback Player of the Year by the Sporting News, and this week, he was honored as the Players Choice Award NL Comeback Player.

The Players Choice Award was voted on by Fernandez's peers on Sept. 20, five days before the tragic accident.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.