Thursday, May 9, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #27 ALEX FERNANDEZ


PART OF A TALENTED SOX ROTATION.




ABOUT TO PUT TOGETHER A NICE FIVE-YEAR RUN.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Alex Fernandez was the fourth overall pick in the Major League Draft in 1990 by the White Sox and pitched 10 years before shoulder injuries shortened his career. Never an All-Star nor major award winner, Fernandez was a solid starter who averaged 15 wins a season from '93-'97. He helped the Marlins advance to the World Series during that time.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Fernandez was the starting and winning pitcher for the Marlins in Game 3 of the Division Series against the Giants on Oct. 3, 1997, pitching seven innings of seven-hit ball and allowing two runs. The 6-2 victory advanced the Marlins to the NLCS.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '93, he established career bests in wins (18) and ERA (3.13) for the AL West champion White Sox.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Fernandez was the national college player of the year in '90 while playing for Miami-Dade Community College. He previously was at the University of Miami but transferred to become eligible for the draft that season.
  2. On April 10, 1997, he was two outs from a no-hitter at Wrigley Fields against the Cubs. Dave Hansen broke it up with a hit up the middle just under Fernandez's glove. That was the lone hit in his 1-0 victory.
  3. Allowed five earned runs in 2.2 innings in his final postseason start in '97 against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLCS. Shoulder pain began hampering him during the postseason that would result in him missing all of '98 after off-season reconstructive surgery.
  4. He was never the same but came back to pitch for the Marlins in '99 and '00, winning a combined 11 games.
  5. At age 30, his career was kaput after winning 107 games with a career ERA of 3.74. 

I COVERED A HIGH SCHOOL GAME ONCE THAT FORESHADOWED A STAR IN THE MAKING.

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