- For the other ballplayer with the same name, see Chico Fernández (baseball, born 1939).
March 2, 1932|
|Died: June 11, 2016
|July 14, 1956, for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1963, for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||258|
Humberto Fernández Pérez (March 2, 1932 – June 11, 2016), better known as Chico Fernández, was a Cuban Major League Baseball shortstop who played eight seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1956), Philadelphia Phillies (1957–60), Detroit Tigers (1960–63), and New York Mets (1963). Fernández played in 856 major league games, 810 at shortstop. He scored 270 runs, collected 666 hits, and had a career batting average of .240.
Fernández began his career as a bright prospect for the Brooklyn Dodgers but was not able to break into the lineup with Pee Wee Reese at the shortstop position. On April 5, 1957, the Dodgers traded Fernández to the Philadelphia Phillies for five players (Ron Negray, Canadian-born Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, and Melvin Geho), plus $75,000. Fernández made his first appearance with Philadelphia on April 16, 1957. Fernández was the Phillies' regular shortstop for two seasons. In his first year with the Phillies, Fernández collected 131 hits for a .262 batting average and a .302 on-base percentage. He also stole 18 bases, 5th best in the National League. He also stole 12 bases in 1958, 9th best in the National League. Fernández' batting average dropped over the next two seasons, and he saw limited time in 1959, hitting .211.
In December 1959, the Phillies traded Fernández to the Detroit Tigers, where he became the Tigers' regular shortstop for three seasons from 1960 through 1962. In 1960, he led American League shortstops with 34 errors; his fielding percentage was .947. By 1962, he increased his fielding percentage to .960. More surprising, Fernández displayed power as a hitter in 1962. After six seasons in which he never hit more than 6 home runs, Fernández hit 20 home runs and 59 RBIs for the Tigers in 1962. Both were career highs.
With a young Dick McAuliffe ready to assume the shortstop position for the Tigers, Detroit traded Fernández to the New York Mets in May 1963. Fernández played 58 games for the Mets in 1963 and was then traded to the Chicago White Sox in April 1964. Fernández did not play for the Sox. He finished his career playing in Japan in 1965 for the Hanshin Tigers.
Fernández died June 11, 2016, in Florida, aged 84, from complications of a stroke suffered the month before.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Retrosheet, or Baseball Reference (Minor, Japanese and Mexican leagues)