MIAMI -- A memorial for José Fernández was being held Wednesday, starting at Marlins Park and moving to a local church later in the afternoon for a public viewing.On Thursday, there will be a private mass for family, Marlins players, coaches and front-office personnel to celebrate the life of the
MIAMI -- A memorial for José Fernández was being held Wednesday, starting at Marlins Park and moving to a local church later in the afternoon for a public viewing.
On Thursday, there will be a private mass for family, Marlins players, coaches and front-office personnel to celebrate the life of the 24-year-old ace, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning.
:: Jose Fernandez: 1992-2016 ::
After Thursday's services, the Marlins will travel to Washington D.C., and they will begin their final regular-season series against the Nationals on Friday.
Since the tragedy, the Marlins have been grieving while also returning to playing games. On Monday night, they defeated the Mets, 7-3, in an emotional and tearful game.
"I think the routine of the game is really good for you," manager Don Mattingly said. "You've been doing this almost the whole season. Yeah, we feel it's almost like autopilot, fielding ground balls, take at-bats. It's almost mindless. So it does good to be on the field. It feels good to prepare for a game."
The 2 p.m. ET memorial on Wednesday started on the West Plaza of Marlins Park and a funeral motorcade was to depart from the ballpark at 2:16 p.m.
The public viewing is at St. Brendan's Catholic Church, at 8725 SW 32 Street, Miami, Fla., 33165. Guests will have the opportunity to pay their respects at the church from 5-11 p.m.
"That was so draining," right fielder Giancarlo Stanton said. "This week, as well, will be draining for us. But we've got to be the ones up front, and leading the charge, because everyone is drained from this."
Fernandez regularly would go out at night on his boat. He would often have some of his teammates with him. On Saturday night, Fernandez invited teammate Marcell Ozuna to join him. But Ozuna declined.
According to the Coast Guard, Fernandez and two friends were killed around 3 a.m. ET.
"Most of the time, when he invited me, I said no," Ozuna said. "In Miami, I've got my kids, and my wife, and my family. I don't go out most of the time. If it's the road, we can maybe go out. But in Miami, most of the time, I'd say no."
In lieu of flowers, the Fernandez family requests charitable contributions to the JDF16 Foundation at the Miami Foundation. Fans can donate by sending checks to the Miami Foundation at 40 NW 3 Street #305, Miami, Fla., 33128 or online at MiamiFoundation.org/jdf16.
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.