Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tony Fernandez to enter the Hall of Fame

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, that is.

The honour couldn't be more richly deserved for Fernandez, who remains the Jays' all-time leader in games played and hits. Fernandez was not only a key to the Blue Jays' emergence as a power in the AL the mid-80's, but he was also an important part of the team moving to the forefront of the Canadian pro sports scene.

Fernandez' work with the glove at short brought a wow factor to the Jays, and helped them transcend the sport's base of fans at the time. (Of course, the Ballard-era Leafs suckitude didn't hurt either.) Fernandez won four Gold Gloves, and likely deserved a few more that are now on a mantle somewhere in the greater Baltimore area.

Fernandez was also an offensive threat, posting a .298 career average with the Jays. And while we hate slap hitters, we loved seeing Fernandez squaring around to bunt, then slapping the ball past the drawn in infielders.

Amongst the others to be honoured is Peter Widdrington, the former Labatt CEO who was instrumental in bringing a team to Toronto. Widdrington was devoted to the team's success, but left the baseball operations to their own devices, giving Paul Beeston and Pat Gillick the resources they needed to make the team a success. Widdrington died in 2005.


Lloyd "the barber" Moseby said...

I distinctly remember wanting to bring physical harm to Bill Madlock.

sager said...

Even better was the professional hitter Tony became by his third tour with the Jays ... I recall being at a game in '99 when he fouled off something like 13 pitches in one plate appearance.

Damn it. Now you made me have to go look something up, which means I'm permanently barred from ever being a Toronto columnist.

Tao of Stieb said...

Fernandez was a fantastic hitter when he came up, and got better when faced with some adversity later in his career.

BTW, we know that this post kinda sucked...but we're sick and feverish. said...

Little doubt, the dude is completely just.