Tony Fernández

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This article is about the baseball player. For the English drummer, see Tony Fernandez (musician). For the Malaysian entrepreneur, see Tony Fernandes.
Tony Fernández
Shortstop
Born: (1962-06-30) June 30, 1962 (age 52)
San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1983 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
October 7, 2001 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
Batting average .288
Hits 2,276
Home runs 94
Runs batted in 844
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Octavio Antonio Fernández Castro (born June 30, 1962), better known as Tony Fernández, is a former Major League Baseball player most noted for his defensive skills, setting a nine-year record for shortstops with a .992 fielding percentage in 1989.[1]

Career[edit]

Fernández was first scouted by the Toronto Blue Jays' famed Latin America scout Epy Guerrero[2] and was signed as an undrafted free agent. Promoted to the Blue Jays in 1983,[3] Fernández became the team's full-time shortstop in 1985,[1] and contributed significantly to the team winning its first division title that year. Fernández continued to star for the Jays for several years afterwards. His 213 hits in 1986 were, at the time, a major league single-season record for a shortstop (the record has since been surpassed).

Before the 1991 season, Fernández was traded to the San Diego Padres in a major deal that also sent Jays star Fred McGriff to San Diego in exchange for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.[1] Fernández played well for San Diego for two years and then began the 1993 season with the New York Mets. After a disappointing start, he was traded back to the Blue Jays.[1] He played well for the remainder of the season and was instrumental in helping the Blue Jays win the 1993 World Series. In that World Series, Fernández drove in nine runs,[1] a record for a shortstop.[4]

Fernández played for the New York Yankees in 1995. It was because of an injury early in the season that Derek Jeter was called up to the major leagues for the first time.

Tony Fernandez is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays' Level of Excellence.

In 1997, he reached the World Series again, with the Cleveland Indians, thanks in large part to his own game-winning home run against Baltimore in the American League Championship Series.[1] This is the only 1-0 game in postseason history where the run was an extra-innings home run. Playing at second base, he committed an error in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game 7 of the World Series; this broke up a potential double play, and the eventual World Series-winning run was put on base.[5] He hit a two-run single in the top of the third inning for the Indians' only runs of the game, and would have been credited with the Series-winning hit for Cleveland had they won the game.

In 1998, he rejoined the Blue Jays, and revitalized his hitting, batting over .300 in two seasons there.[6] In 2000, Fernández played for the Seibu Lions in Japan[7] before returning to the majors the following year. When he returned in 2001, he briefly played for the Milwaukee Brewers but returned to Toronto late in the season,[8] and retired at its conclusion.[9]

A very thin man, Fernández had a tilted, wavering batting stance[10] that made it appear as if he might not be strong enough to hold his bat. From early in his career he carried a scar on his right cheek from a pitched ball. Fernández was a noted fitness fanatic; he liked buying unusual home exercise machines and trying them out in the clubhouse.

Early in his career, Fernández was well known for his exceptional defensive skills at shortstop, and was described by Ivan Maisel in a Sports Illustrated article as having "the range of a Texas cattleman".[11] He was especially famous for leaping into the air while simultaneously making an underhanded throw to first base, on balls hit far to his right.[12]

Fernández was awarded four consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his defense, from 1986 to 1989.[13] Fernández was also named to five All-Star teams. He finished his career with a .288 batting average in 2,158 games played, and batted .327 in postseason play. Fernandez hit for the cycle as a New York Yankee on September 3, 1995 playing against the Oakland Athletics.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Porter, David; Joe Naiman (2002). The San Diego Padres Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-58261-058-0. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  2. ^ MacNow, Glen (June 1986). "San Pedro de Macoris, Cradle of Major League Talent". Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing) 45 (6): 64. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  3. ^ Tan, Cecilia (2005). The 50 Greatest Yankee Games. John Wiley and Sons. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-471-65938-9. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  4. ^ Westcott, Rich; Alan Kravetz (1994). Phillies '93: An Incredible Season. Temple University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-56639-231-0. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  5. ^ McKelvey, G. Richard (2001). The Bounce: Baseball Teams' Great Falls and Comebacks. McFarland. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7864-0955-6. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  6. ^ Porter, David L. (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Baseball, A-F. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 466. ISBN 978-0-313-31174-1. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Fernandez Signs With Seibu Lions". New York Times. 2008-02-08. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  8. ^ "Jays sign Tony Fernandez". CBC Sports (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). 2001-06-08. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  9. ^ Bastian, Jordan (2006-12-26). "Slick-fielding Fernandez seeks Hall call". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  10. ^ Zaiontz, Dan. "Sportsnet’s baseball panel discuss the greatest Jays to ever play the game". Urban Male Magazine. p. 65. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  11. ^ Maisel, Ivan (1985-06-03). "The Blue Jays Are Ruling The Roost". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  12. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (2005-09-25). "Who tops list of Latino shortstops?". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  13. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-58341-503-0. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  14. ^ Baseball Digest 56 (9). Lakeside Publishing. September 1997. p. 92. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 209-02-20. 

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