José Fernández jersey goes missing at Alonso candlelight vigil

By Katherine Smith and Trevor Pettiford, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2016, 5:52 PM EDT

As hundreds turned out to honor and remember former Alonso High baseball standout José Fernández Wednesday night, someone apparently made off with an original Fernández Alonso jersey. 

The jersey, bearing Fernández's No. 16 on the back, had been hanging on a dugout fence. By the time the vigil was over, the jersey was missing.

"I went to go get the jersey, and I walked over there and saw it in the dugout, because I had it hanging on the fence so when our alumni would walk in, the first thing they would see would be José's jersey," said Alonso High Baseball coach Landy Faedo. "I went to go get it and just the hanger sitting on the fence."

On Thursday afternoon, the hanger that held the jersey still was hanging inside the dugout. 

Alonso coaches, administration and members of the public have asked via social media for whoever took it to bring it back - with no questions asked.

"All we want is the jersey to be returned," said Alonso principal Ken Hart. "That's all. No questions asked. Drop it off. Just put it in a bag. Leave it on the counter. That's all. Just give us the dog gone thing back."

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft.

Honoring Jose Wednesday night

On the same day the city of Miami shut down to publicly mourn the passing of Marlins pitcher José Fernández, his high school alma mater held a memorial on the baseball field where he shined and helped deliver two state championships.

  • Alonso High holds vigil for Jose Fernandez 
  • Fernandez, Miami Marlins pitcher, died Sunday in boat crash
  • Hundreds turned out in rain to honor the MLB star
  • Previous stories on Jose Fernandez

Even a barrage of rain couldn’t keep those Fernández touched from paying their respects.

They came to grieve. They came to cry. They came to say goodbye.

They came for José.

“God bless Alonso," vigil speaker Wayne Crowell said. "God bless José.”

Hundreds gathered at Alonso High School’s baseball field to pay their respects to José Fernández, the All-Star pitcher who made Tampa his home after escaping from Cuba. His tragic death at the age of 24 has left his Ravens family reeling.

His catcher from the 2009 state championship team, Adam Pendleton, was one of many former teammates who gathered. 

“It’s sad that type of night happened," Pendleton said, "but we’re all able to be here for each other and see each other’s families and get through it all and remember José and his exuberant personality.”


Hundreds gathered at Alonso High School’s baseball field to pay their respects to José Fernández, the All-Star pitcher who made Tampa his home after escaping from Cuba. His tragic death at the age of 24 has left his Ravens family reeling. (Katherine Smith, staff)

Fernández’s alma mater hosted the candlelight vigil to give those that mourn his loss an outlet to grieve. They paid tribute to the talented pitcher who was known for his infectious smile and generous soul.

“Here is the bag I got and José signed it," Tampa resident Ernestine Dodson said. "So I felt special.”

For a man who was so full of life, accepting his death is almost unbearable.

“Everyone he was around just touched," Pendleton said. "You could see his big smile and it would light up everyone else’s smiles and you could just see the joy that it brought to him when you were happy and if you were down, he’d pick you up. He just didn’t like a saddened moment.

"Everything had to be a joy.”