MIAMI -- The Marlins have established a trust to assist the family of Jose Fernandez, their two-time All-Star pitcher who died last September in a boating accident.Team president David Samson said Thursday team officials recently met with Fernandez's mother, Maritza, his girlfriend, Maria Arias, and his infant daughter, Penelope, to
MIAMI -- The Marlins have established a trust to assist the family of Jose Fernandez, their two-time All-Star pitcher who died last September in a boating accident.
Team president David Samson said Thursday team officials recently met with Fernandez's mother, Maritza, his girlfriend, Maria Arias, and his infant daughter, Penelope, to inform them the trust has been created.
"It was an emotional meeting, but the real point was to let them know that we promised to be in their lives forever," Samson said. "We promised that the Marlins were family.
"For Maria's standpoint, she would never have to worry about Penelope's education. She has an opportunity to go to school and graduate, debt free."
Penelope was born Feb. 24, and Samson said the 3-month-old resembles her father.
"This was something we could do to at least get her into a position for a successful life, which we believe starts with an education," Samson said.
According to the Marlins, MLB has an insurance policy to assist the families of players who die. Samson is the trustee of the funds designated for Fernandez's family.
Born in Cuba, Fernandez defected with his mother and settled in Tampa. Five years later, in 2011, the energetic pitcher was the Marlins' first-round Draft pick.
Fernandez was a sensation from the time he broke into the big leagues as a brash 20-year-old in 2013. He was an All-Star and National League Rookie of the Year in his first season and was an All-Star again in 2016.
In his short but electrifying career, Fernandez became one of the most popular all-time Marlins.
The Marlins continue to recognize Fernandez at Marlins Park. His locker has been preserved in the clubhouse. And owner Jeffrey Loria intends to have a statue of Fernandez placed outside the ballpark sometime after the season.
Since Fernandez's death, the Marlins have remained in constant contact with Fernandez's family, and the trust will continue the bond for the foreseeable future.
"It's enough to make sure her education will be paid for, in addition to a yearly amount to his mom, every single year," Samson said.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.