The Toronto sports scene has lost one of its greatest athletes and favorite sons as Tony Fernández has died at the age of 57. During his run in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Fernandez was able to become the Blue Jays all-time hits player and played the most games.
— Scott BlueJaysAlways (@BluejaysAlways) February 16, 2020
The Toronto Blue Jays have put out a statement for the public through Twitter featuring a photo of Fernández, captioning it: “We will miss you, Tony.”
The ball club stated Fernandez is “one of our clubs most celebrated and respected players,” adding, “Tony left an equally indelible mark in the hearts of a generation of blue Jay fans during his 12 unforgettable seasons with the team.
“His impact on the baseball community in Toronto and across Canada is immeasurable,” and on social media the sentiments have been echoed.
Range to the right, backhand pickup and the sidearm-cross body-flip to first to beat the runner by a step. My childhood summers were spent mastering this play because of Tony.
— Jeff MacDonald (@Freens77) February 16, 2020
@TonyCabezaFdez A true Legend has gone way to soon. God will embrace you. Thank you for been such a kind and soft person, for playing the game with respect, for been an example for others. You will be missed. #TonyCabezaFernandez. #GoneButNeverForgotten. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/W0NjjoOu7d
— Juliss🙏🌹💗 (@Juls555) February 16, 2020
He was hospitalized earlier this year due to kidney disease complications and needed to be put into a medically induced coma. According to MLB insider Hector Gomez, who cited a Dominican newspaper, Fernández suffered a stroke on Saturday and was taken off life support.
The Dominican MLB Twitter account called him a “warrior” and offered its “our deepest condolences to Tony Fernández’s family at this difficult time.”
— LasMayores (@LasMayores) February 16, 2020
So, so sorry to hear this news. Tony Fernandez was not only a phenomenal baseball player and great #Bluejays, he was a genuinely kind, gentle and good man. May he rest in peace. https://t.co/9AxiBoEJxg
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) February 16, 2020
RIP to Tony Fernández. Here’s him hitting one of the most important home runs in Indians history in Game 6 of the 1997 ALCS. pic.twitter.com/dvAXBdjFgM
— Nick Maloney (@nickmaloney22) February 16, 2020
The Toronto Blue Jays first taste of playoff action took place in 1985 when they won the Eastern Divisional title. Tony Fernandez was an integral part of that team’s success and would continue for years to come. Many hardcore fans believed that he should have won the Gold Glove in 1985, but voting might have been skewed to favour more established players. Fernandez would soon enough be winning four in a row.
Tony Fernandez was proud to have been one of the most spectacular defense players in the league during his time period and some may say of all time with the greats such as Cal Ripken and Ozzie Guillen.
— Dan-e-o (@Daneo10) February 16, 2020
His 1993 World Series performance in game four will always be remembered by the franchise as he acquired 5 RBI’s. Tony was also a premier switch-hitter with a career .288 batting average, was an immense threat on the bases with 246 career steals, and arguably the most adaptable shortstop in the franchise’s history (.992 fielding % in for the years 1981 through 1989). His defensive prowess was put on display in the late ‘80s especially when he won 4 Golden Glove awards in a row from 1986-‘89. He won a World Series Ring with the Blue Jays in 1993, and his career came full-circle in 2001 where he ended it with the Blue Jays.
Roberto Alomar who many praise as the greatest Blue Jays player in history had nothing but kind words for the iconic Tony Fernandez!
“I am heartbroken by the passing of Tony Fernandez. Tony was a truly special person who cared so much about helping people and making a difference in the lives of others. He was a great friend, teammate, father, husband, and minister. My thoughts and prayers are with his family” pic.twitter.com/0aDcwvHr6d
— Alomar Sports (@AlomarSports) February 16, 2020
Once again, our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Tony Fernandez!