The Toronto Blue Jays plan to honour the late Tony Fernandez with a special No. 1 commemorative uniform patch, which will be worn for the entirety of the 2020 regular season, the team announced Monday.
The five-time all-star and one of the greatest infielders in Blue Jays history died in February at the age of 57.
“There are few players in the game who can impact a team and a fan base the way Tony did in Toronto,” said Mark Shapiro, the team’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“Beyond his impressive career numbers, achievements, and accolades, Tony resonated with baseball fans because of how he played the game and conducted himself as a teammate. To wear a patch in his memory is to honour his exceptional life on behalf of Blue Jays fans across the country.”
Fernandez, who spent most of his career at shortstop, played 12 seasons over four stints with the Blue Jays. He’s the franchise leader in games played (1,450), hits (1,583) and triples (72). The 1993 World Series winner also won four Gold Gloves at shortstop and was elevated to the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence in 2001.
Fernandez had battled kidney problems for several years. He was first hospitalized with polycystic kidney disease in 2017. Fernandez was in critical condition in an induced coma at a Florida hospital after developing pneumonia, before being taken off life support with no brain activity.
With files from The Canadian Press