José Fernández Once Asked a Crying Young Fan for His Autograph

staff@people.com (Kathy Ehrich Dowd)

Before José Fernández announced to the world that he was becoming a father, the late Miami Marlins pitcher showed off his paternal side when he deftly comforted a boy he saw crying in the stands.

Instagram user @lunchtimegraphs posted a sweet video of Fernández approaching the boy and asking for his autograph – while also offering up his own.

"You write it here and I write it here," Fernández, 24, instructed the boy with an encouraging smile as he held a Sharpie.

The ace then cheered for the boy as he signed the book, then asked to rip out the page so he could keep the autograph for himself.



"RIP Jose Fernandez. A few months ago, Jose saw this boy cry. Jose went over to him and asked him for his autograph. #josefernandez," @lunchtimegraphs captioned the Instagram video.

Fernández died early Sunday morning alongside friends Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, after their boat crashed into a rock jetty.

RELATED VIDEO: Inside José Fernández's Final Hours Before the Ace Pitcher's Tragic Death at Sea


On Wednesday, many gathered at Marlins Park for a funeral procession and memorial service, which included his teammates movingly surrounding his hearse as it made its way to a local church. Family and friends are also taking part in a private funeral Thursday.

José Fernández Once Asked a Crying Young Fan for His Autograph| Death, Untimely Deaths, Sports
José Fernández Once Asked a Crying Young Fan for His Autograph| Death, Untimely Deaths, Sports


His pregnant girlfriend, Maria Arias, was among those who attended Wednesday's memorial service.

I'm so glad you came into my life. I'm ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst

A photo posted by Jose Fernandez (@jofez16) on Sep 19, 2016 at 8:23pm PDT


Just days before his death, Fernandez shared the news that he was becoming a father on Instagram.

"I'm so glad you came into my life. I'm ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst," he wrote alongside an image of Arias cradling her baby bump.