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Fans pay tribute to Miami Marlins' ace pitcher Jose Fernandez

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Posted at 4:54 AM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 11:03:14-04

People across South Florida are mourning the tragic loss of Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez, a tremendous talent who fans say had become an icon in Miami.

"Devastating day for sure," says David Nussbaum.

Nussbaum said Fernandez was more than just a favorite player on his favorite team.

"I've never met him personally and I still felt like I lost a friend," said Nussbaum.

All day Sunday, fans came to Marlins Park to honor No. 16, laying flowers and writing messages and leaving baseball memorabilia. 

They were hoping somehow what they heard Sunday morning wasn't true.

"I keep thinking it was a bad dream, and we're going to wake up and he's going to come out smiling," says fan Val Diaz.

To everyone in South Florida, Fernandez represented both the city and the Cuban community. He was a tremendous talent on the baseball diamond with so much ahead of him at the age of 24.

"He was starting to become that "it" person, that icon. The person that was going to be the future," said fan Jessica Munoz.

A growing memorial near the ball park shows what he meant to the city of Miami.

Nussbaum said he will continue to honor Fernandez.

"You have to be part of this. I've never thought this before, but I loved Jose Fernandez," said Nussbaum. 

The Marlins canceled their game against the Atlanta Braves Sunday; they will however play Monday night against the New York Mets. 

The Marlins haven't announced how the plan to pay tribute to him during the game.

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