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Marlins to honor Fernandez, Felo with plaques

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins will honor the memories of All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez and Hall of Fame radio voice Rafael "Felo" Ramirez by installing plaques on a West Plaza column at Marlins Park.

The two plaques will be on display Friday. They will be placed on the same column that had been covered with a special message wrap, where fans wrote their own personal tributes for Fernandez. Those wraps had encased the column since Fernandez's death in a boating accident in September 2016. Over time they had become tattered and weathered by the elements.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins will honor the memories of All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez and Hall of Fame radio voice Rafael "Felo" Ramirez by installing plaques on a West Plaza column at Marlins Park.

The two plaques will be on display Friday. They will be placed on the same column that had been covered with a special message wrap, where fans wrote their own personal tributes for Fernandez. Those wraps had encased the column since Fernandez's death in a boating accident in September 2016. Over time they had become tattered and weathered by the elements.

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"The Marlins have been fortunate to have had some truly talented individuals within our organization through the years," Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter said. "Jose, on the field, and Felo, in the booth, each left a lasting legacy in Little Havana and throughout baseball. We wanted to commemorate them with plaques on the West Plaza for our fans and family members.Their memories will live on in our hearts and in our community."

This past year, the Marlins preserved Fernandez's locker, which was located in the far corner of the clubhouse. The locker was encased in glass, and it featured Fernandez's No. 16 jerseys, cleats and glove.

The tribute locker will not be in the clubhouse in 2018.

On Wednesday, Fernandez's mother, Maritza Fernandez Gomez, met with Jeter at Marlins Park, and collected the gear from her son's locker.

Fernandez and Ramirez are two of the most iconic figures in franchise history.

Ramirez, who had a broadcasting career that spanned seven decades, suffered a head injury after falling last April during the team's road series at Philadelphia. He passed away at age 94 last August.

Video: Remembering Felo Ramirez

A broadcasting pioneer, Ramirez was the Marlins' Spanish-language radio voice starting in 1993. In 2001, he received the highest personal honor for a broadcaster, receiving the Ford C. Frick Award, which is recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fernandez, a two-time All-Star, became one of the most popular and energetic players in Marlins history. In 2013, at age 20, he broke into the big leagues, and became an All-Star. He was an All-Star for the second time in 2016, and died two months later.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez