Marlins to retire Fernandez's number 16 jersey


Monday will mark the last time a player wearing a number 16 Miami Marlins jersey will take the field.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told reporters that following the tragic death of ace Jose Fernandez, "no one else will ever wear 16."

The team do not currently have any numbers retired except the MLB-wide 42 in honour of Jackie Robinson.

The Marlins will honour the 24-year old against the New York Mets on Monday as every member of the team will wear his number 16 jersey.

Fernandez was one of three people killed when the boat in which they were riding struck a jetty and overturned.

A player that embodied the culture of South Florida, Fernandez was a fan favourite not only in Miami but across MLB, as evidenced by the tributes and tears shed across baseball on Sunday. 

Fernandez defected to the United States from Cuba in 2007 with his mother and sister after three previous unsuccessful attempts to leave the island nation.

Each failed effort resulted in a brief prison term in Cuba.

On their final attempt, a 15-year-old Fernandez jumped into the water to save his mother from drowning.

Fernandez was a first-round draft pick of the Marlins in 2011, National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and a two-time All-Star, including this season, which was the best of his four-year MLB career.

He lost only twice in his career at Marlins Park, where attendances spiked on the days he pitched.