Tony Fernandez, longtime Blue Jays shortstop, has died at 57

Sports
Tony Fernandez #1

23 Aug 1999: Tony Fernandez #1 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to a base during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Network Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Blue Jays defeated the A’s 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

(CNN) — Tony Fernandez, a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star over 17 seasons, has died at 57, the Toronto Blue Jays tweeted on Sunday.

He suffered a stroke and had been struggling with kidney issues, the team said.

“The Toronto Blue Jays are deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Fernandez today, one of our club’s most celebrated and respected players,” the team said. “Enshrined forever in Blue Jays history on the Level of Excellence, Tony left an equally indelible mark in the hearts of a generation of Blue Jays fans during his 12 unforgettable seasons with the team.”

Fernandez spent parts of 12 seasons with the Blue Jays, the team’s website says. He won four consecutive Gold Glove Awards, made five All-Star appearances, and was part of the team’s 1993 World Series championship season.

Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted, “Joining all @BlueJays fans in grieving the great Tony Fernandez. On behalf of all Toronto residents, I am extending condolences to Tony’s family and friends. #RIPTonyFernandez”

Self-described “diehard fan” Scott BlueJaysAlways tweeted, “Our greatest shortstop EVER and one of the best players to ever put on a #BlueJays uniform.”

Canadian TV personality Steve Patterson tweeted, “He played the game like a kid who couldn’t believe he was getting paid for it. And he treated the kids who were his fans like they were his bosses.”

Fernandez, a native Dominican, died in Florida.

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