A bag containing Jose Fernandez’s checkbook and four baseballs autographed by the star Miami Marlins pitcher washed ashore Monday at Miami Beach about a mile from where he and two others were killed in a boating accident the previous day, according to WSVN 7 News.
The find was no doubt an eerie and heartbreaking reminder of a tragedy that has shocked the city of Miami and the Major League Baseball community.
The bag was reportedly discovered by a beachgoer and turned into a lifeguard tower at 24th street, about a mile north of where the 24-year-old pitcher and two friends were killed after their 32-foot boat hit rocks and capsized. Miami Beach Ocean Rescue Division Chief Vincent Canosa told WSVN 7 News the items appeared to belong to one of the deceased.
Fernandez and his friends Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were killed early Sunday morning when a 32-foot SeaVee boat, owned by Fernandez, plowed at high speed into a jetty at the entrance of Miami Harbor, the Miami Herald reported. The crash remains under investigation and authorities have said they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.
On Monday, the Herald reported that Fernandez had been seen at a Miami bar earlier in the night and may have been upset about an argument with his girlfriend.
The Marlins took the field Monday evening for its first game since the ace pitcher was killed. As a tribute, every player wore a Fernandez jersey and team owner Jeffrey Loria announced the team will retire Fernandez’s number 16.
In a bit of magic that could not have been scripted more perfectly, Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon stepped up to the plate Monday wearing his fallen teammate’s jersey and crushed a lead-off home run ― his first of the season ― to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The Marlins went on to beat the New York Mets 7-3.