Killed in a boating accident on Sept. 25, 2016 at just 24 years of age, Fernández was a dominant pitcher for the Fish during his four major league seasons. The 2013 NL Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star was known as much for his infectious enthusiasm as his unhittable stuff.
Like Fernández, Ramírez grew up in Cuba. He served as a sports broadcaster for nearly seven decades, accepting the Marlins Spanish radio gig prior to their inaugural 1993 season and remaining there until early 2017. He passed away last August at age 94.
CEO Derek Jeter issued the following statement about this tribute:
“The Marlins have been fortunate to have had some truly talented individuals within our organization through the years. 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.”
The dimensions of each plaque are approximately 1 1⁄2 feet wide by 2 1⁄2 feet tall, so just visualize two home plates pressed against a surface and stacked directly on top of one another.
Fans will be able to view the plaques with or without game tickets. They are being displayed on the exterior of Marlins Park, hung on each side of the column that’s closest to the West Plaza.
It’s the white column farthest to the left in the photo below:
Fittingly, Ramírez’s plaque will face Felo Ramírez Dr., the stretch of NW 6th St. already named in his honor.
The Fernández plaque shares the same design as the poster that accumulated thousands of signatures following his 2016 death. The pitcher’s mother, Maritza Gomez Fernández, visited the stadium on Wednesday for an early viewing of the plaque, according to the Herald. The Fernández poster is being removed after suffering some significant “wear and tear” in recent months.
Prior to selling to the Jeter/Bruce Sherman ownership group, Jeffrey Loria had hinted at a possible José Fernández statue. Marlins fans: Would you still be interested in seeing that, or are you satisfied with this tribute?