Tony Fernandez, Blue Jays legend and former Reds player, dies at 57

Played for Cincinnati in 1994
Posted at 7:17 AM, Feb 16, 2020

Tony Fernandez, the Toronto Blue Jays legend and former Cincinnati Reds third baseman, died Saturday at age 57.

Over a baseball career spanning from 1983 to 2001, Fernandez played for the Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and the Seibu (Japan) Lions.

Born in the Dominican Republic in 1962, Fernandez signed with the Blue Jays in 1979, became the team's mainstay shortstop in 1985 and helped secure the team’s first division title that same year.

In 1993, he played an instrumental role in the Blue Jays' World Series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Fernandez appeared in another World Series with the Cleveland Indians in 1997.

The five-time All-Star earned four consecutive Gold Glove nods from 1986 to 1989 for his defensive prowess.

Fernandez ended his career on Oct. 7, 2001 with a .288 batting average and 2,276 hits. He made 102 of those hits during his year as Reds third baseman, when the team clinched first place in the division before a strike ended the season in August.

Fernandez was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

"Tony was everything a Hall of Famer should be: an all-time great on the field and a charitable, selfless person away from it. We will miss him dearly," read a statement from Hall of Fame officials.

Fernandez is survived by his wife, Clara, and their five children.