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Octavio Antonio Fernández Castro (born June 30, 1962), better known as Tony Fernández, is a former Dominican 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] and a still active single-season fielding percentage record for third basemen with .991 in 1994.[2]

Tony Fernández
Born: (1962-06-30) June 30, 1962 (age 57)
San Pedro de Macorís, 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
MLB statistics
Batting average.288
Home runs94
Runs batted in844
Career highlights and awards

Early lifeEdit

Fernandez was born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic.


Fernández was first scouted by the Toronto Blue Jays' famed Latin America scout Epy Guerrero[3] and was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1979. Promoted to the Blue Jays in 1983,[4] 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 against the Philadelphia Phillies. In that World Series, Fernández drove in nine runs,[1] a record for a shortstop.[5]

Fernández played for the New York Yankees in 1995. It was because of an injury early in the season to Fernández 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.[6] 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.[7] In 2000, Fernández played for the Seibu Lions in Japan[8] 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,[9] and retired at its conclusion.[10]

A very thin man, Fernández had a tilted, wavering batting stance[11] 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".[12] 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.[13]

Fernández was awarded four consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his defense, from 1986 to 1989.[14] 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, against the Oakland Athletics.[15]

On October 17, 2016, Fernandez was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, where he thanked the fans in Toronto, Ontario and in Canada for embracing him.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Fernández is of Haitian descent.[17][18]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Fielding % as 3B". Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Tan, Cecilia (2005). The 50 Greatest Yankee Games. John Wiley and Sons. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-471-65938-9. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Fernandez Signs With Seibu Lions". New York Times. 2008-02-08. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  9. ^ "Jays sign Tony Fernandez". CBC Sports. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2001-06-08. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  10. ^ Bastian, Jordan (2006-12-26). "Slick-fielding Fernandez seeks Hall call". Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  11. ^ Zaiontz, Dan. "Sportsnet's baseball panel discuss the greatest Jays to ever play the game" (PDF). Urban Male Magazine. p. 65. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  12. ^ Maisel, Ivan (1985-06-03). "The Blue Jays Are Ruling The Roost". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  13. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (2005-09-25). "Who tops list of Latino shortstops?". Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Baseball Digest". 56 (9). Lakeside Publishing. September 1997: 92. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 2009-02-20. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "Fernandez put Cleveland in its last WS, now Ontario HOFer". Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  17. ^ Briceño, Pedro G., ed. (15 April 2007). "Muchos peloteros profesionales son de pura ascendencia haitiana" (in Spanish). Listin Diario. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  18. ^ González Ramón (ed.). "Virgilio Almánzar afirma padres de Sammy Sosa son haitianos" (in Spanish). El Coloso de Macoris. Retrieved 19 December 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Gregg Jefferies
Hitting for the cycle
September 3, 1995
Succeeded by
John Mabry