Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #5 SID FERNANDEZ


SPECIALIZED IN THE HAWAIIAN PUNCH-OUT.




MISSED HALF OF '93 BECAUSE OF A KNEE INJURY.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Sid Fernandez was the Hawaiian port-sider who had a largely underwhelming 15-year career but an overwhelmingly large waistline. He won 114 games and sported a 3.36 ERA. His quirky delivery featured a pause before releasing the ball sidearm with sneaky-fast velocity. He had all the makings of a perennial All-Star but reached that level only twice. 

FINEST MOMENT

  • With the Mets going with a three-man rotation in the '86 World Series against the Red Sox, El Sid was sent to the bullpen. He was summoned in Game 7 in the fourth inning to replace starter Ron Darling with the Mets behind 3-0 and a man on second. He walked the first batter but then mowed down the next seven, four on strikeouts, in the next 2.1 innings. He stopped the bleeding and Mets rallied to tie in the sixth before winning 8-5.

FINEST SEASON

  • In '86, Fernandez went 16-6 with a 3.52 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 204.1 innings. He made the All-Star team for the first time and finished seventh in the Cy Young voting. The victories and the strikeouts would end up being career-highs and building expectations.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Wore No. 50 in honor of Hawaii being the 50th state.  
  2. Acquired, along with infielder Ross Jones, from the Dodgers in December '83 for utilityman Bob Bailor and lefty Carlos Diaz.
  3. Built a 12-2 record by midseason in '86 and was selected to the All-Star Game. He got into the game to start the eighth and walked the first two batters. El Sid then struck out Brook Jacoby, Jim Rice and #98 Don Mattingly. Not exactly Carl Hubbell whiffing Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in '34 but impressive nonetheless.
  4. Fernandez struggled away from pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium, and it was never more apparent than in that '86 season. His home ERA was 2.17, road 5.03.
  5. Ranks third in lifetime opponents' batting average (.209) and hits per nine innings (6.85) behind #107 Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax

2 comments:

  1. Really enjoying these - keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks a lot. Much appreciated. Got four more in the next four days.

    ReplyDelete