Popular Blue Jays infielder Tony Fernandez, who had struggled with kidney issues, died Saturday night at age 57.
It was revealed earlier this month that the former Blue Jay was in critical condition. Fernandez had battled with polycystic kidney disease for a number of years.
Fernandez joined the Blue Jays at age 21 in 1983 and won a World Series ring when Toronto captured its second championship in 1993. The decade in-between for the native from the Dominican Republic was quite the roller coaster ride. In the end, Fernandez spent 12 seasons with the Blue Jays.
He became touted as one of the best infielders in baseball, highlighted by his speed.
Fernandez helped Toronto in 1985 and 1989 when the club advanced to the American League Championship Series.
In 1990, the Blue Jays said goodbye to Fernandez, dealing him away along with Fred McGriff in a blockbuster deal with San Diego, in which the Padres sent Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar north of the border.
The stay in sunny California was short-lived and Fernandez was once again sent packing, this time to the NY Mets in 1992.
Less than a year later, Fernandez was back where his baseball career started, another stint with the Blue Jays, the 1993 season in which the club won its second World Series championship.
He left the Jays twice as a free agent but came back to Toronto where his baseball career ended in 201.
Fernandez was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.
His mark on the Blue Jays remains in the record books. Fernandez is the clubs all-time leader in games played (1,450), hits (1,583), singles (1,160) and triples (1,450). From 1986 to 1989, Fernandez won four straight Gold Glove Awards.
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