(Ambush Sports) — A baseball legend with the Toronto Blue Jays has passed away, according to MLB insiders.
League insider Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 first broke the news that Tony Fernandez passed away and had suffered a brain stroke while in the hospital receiving treatment for kidney disease complications. He was placed in an induced coma two weeks ago, according to Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors.
The Dominican Republic native was signed as a 17-year-old to play baseball in 1979, according to a Yahoo Sports staff report.
Fernandez played for 17 seasons in the MLB from 1983 until 2001, playing for seven different teams, making his biggest impact in Toronto.
Fernandez, who played 1,450 of 2,158 games in a Blue Jays uniform during four different stints with the team, also holds franchise records in games played, hits (1,583), singles (1,160), triples (72) and bWAR (37.5).
An ambidextrous batter and thrower, Fernandez was an offensive contributor, hitting .288/.347/.399 over 8,793 plate appearances. His 213 hits in the 1986 season shattered a single-season record set by a shortstop.
His defensive skill is nothing to scoff at, winning four consecutive Gold Glove awards as a shortstop from 1986 to 1989.
Fernandez was traded to the San Diego Padres alongside Fred McGriff in a blockbuster trade in December 1990, which would bring Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to Toronto. Fernandez would return to Toronto to help the Jays capture their second World Series championship in 1993 following a deal in June with the New York Mets. He would bat .333/.423/.381 over 26 appearances in the World Series.
Fernandez would make it to the World Series one more time with the Cleveland Indians in 1997, with the Tribe making a run to Game 7, later losing against the eventual world champion Florida Marlins.
The Blue Jays organization would release the following, with “We will miss you, Tony”: