Blue Jays legend Tony Fernández dies at 57


Tony Fernández

Tony Fernández , the former Blue Jays shortstop who helped the Toronto team win the 1993 World Series, died on Sunday after battling complications from a kidney disease and had suffered a stroke. He was 57.

Fernández was taken off a life support system  on Sunday afternoon with his family present at a hospital in Weston, Florida, said Imrad Hallim, the director and co-founder of the Tony Fernández Foundation.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Fernández had been in a medically induced coma and had waited years for a new kidney.

He was a longtime fan favourite in Toronto, made his Blue Jays debut in 1983 at age 21 and became a mainstay in the Jays’ lineup by 1985, helping the Jays claim their first division title that year.

Fernández won four consecutive Gold Glove awards between 1985 and 1990 for his defensive prowess.

The Jays traded the switch-hitting Fernández along with fellow fan favourite Fred McGriff to the San Diego Padres in a deal that brought Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar to Toronto and set the table for the first of Toronto’s two World Series titles.

Fernández, a five-time all-star who also played for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers, returned to Toronto to help the team to its second World Series crown, starting at shortstop as Toronto defeated the Philadelphia Phillies

“Not only was he a great ball player but a great human being as well. R.I.P. my brother. We will all miss you,” former Toronto teammate Joe Carter tweeted.