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Tony Fernández
Shortstop
Born: June 30, 1962 (1962-06-30) (age 47)
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
Home runs     94
Hits     2,276
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 record for shortstops with a .992 fielding percentage in 1989.[1]

Contents

Career

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.

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 dealt back to the Blue Jays.[1] He played extremely 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].

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

In 1997, he reached the World Series again, thanks in large part to his own game-winning home run against Baltimore in the American League Championship Series[1]. Unfortunately, he committed a very ill-timed 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]. 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. 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.[11]

Fernández was awarded four consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his defense, from 1986 to 1989.[12] 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.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Porter, David; Joe Naiman (2002). The San Diego Padres Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing. p. 235. ISBN 9781582610580. http://books.google.ca/books?id=rcilc7h_2oMC&pg=PA235. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  2. ^ MacNow, Glen (06 1986). "San Pedro de Macoris, Cradle of Major League Talent". Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing) 45 (6): 64. ISSN 0005-609X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=8jMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA64. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  3. ^ Tan, Cecilia (2005). The 50 Greatest Yankee Games. John Wiley and Sons. p. 184. ISBN 9780471659389. http://books.google.ca/books?id=1tVMwr2nmzoC&pg=PA184. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  4. ^ Westcott, Rich; Alan Kravetz (1994). Phillies '93: An Incredible Season. Temple University Press. p. 136. ISBN 9781566392310. http://books.google.ca/books?id=l_sK8igVkBUC&pg=PA13. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  5. ^ McKelvey, G. Richard (2001). The Bounce: Baseball Teams' Great Falls and Comebacks. McFarland. p. 218. ISBN 9780786409556. http://books.google.ca/books?id=6VKSuj-P1t4C&pg=PA218. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  6. ^ Porter, David L. (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Baseball, A-F. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 466. ISBN 9780313311741. http://books.google.ca/books?id=019z2vcdBhUC&pg=PA466. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  7. ^ "Fernandez Signs With Seibu Lions". New York Times. 2008-02-08. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5ekAmtrbu. 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. http://www.webcitation.org/5ekBDiecC. 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. http://www.webcitation.org/5ekBTfVVi. 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. http://www.webcitation.org/5ekCQCwI3. Retrieved 2009-02-21.  
  11. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (2005-09-25). "Who tops list of Latino shortstops?". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. http://www.webcitation.org/5f25xvz3U. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  
  12. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 15. ISBN 9781583415030. http://books.google.ca/books?id=JR7wkxO3xU8C&pg=PA15. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  
  13. ^ Baseball Digest. 56. Lakeside Publishing. 09 1997. p. 92. ISSN 0005-609X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=Wi4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA92. Retrieved 209-02-20.  

External links

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