Gus Garcia (left), owner of Copacabana Cuban Cuisine restaurant in Jupiter’s Abacoa, and Brian O’Farrill, manager, in front of sports photos in the restaurant that include many of Jose Fernandez, who was a regular during spring training. (Photo by Bill DiPaolo)
Growing up in Cuba and dreaming to be a major league baseball player someday, Brian O’Farrill said Jose Fernandez was an “inspiration” to him.
“He showed me that if you work hard enough, you can reach your dream. I had so much respect for him,” said O’Farrill, 24, who is manager of Copacabana Cuban Cuisine, a restaurant in Jupiter’s Abacoa where the Miami Marlins pitcher was a regular.
Fernandez, 24, was killed in an early-morning boating accident Sunday off Miami Beach. Two other men were also killed in the 3 a.m. accident when the 32-foot boat collided with rocks at Government Cut.
Fernandez often brought friends to the restaurant that is walking distance from Roger Dean Stadium, the spring training home of the Florida Marlins, said owner Gus Garcia.
“He played dominoes with the customers. He was always friendly to everybody. He would often pick up the check for other customers. He loved kids. He was a wonderful young man with a great future,” said Garcia, standing in front of a wall of sports photos in the restaurant that included many of Fernandez.
Copacabana Cuban Cuisine is located in Abacoa in Jupiter, near Roger Dean Stadium,where the Miami Marlins hold spring training (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)