Monday, March 11, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1992 Topps #755 Alex Fernandez

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, March 11, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1992 Topps #755.
  • Player Name, position, team: Alex Fernandez, pitcher, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: August 2, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1991 stats (White Sox): 34 G, 191.2 IP, 9-13, 100 R, 96 ER, 145 SO, 88 BB, 32 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.51 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the White Sox #1st, June 1990. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Achieved his first major league Victory: 8-7-90. Achieved first major league Complete Game: 9-8-90." Actually, that first complete game happened the week before on 09/02/1990, so that little factoid on the back of the card is incorrect.
  • Commentary: There is a nice panoramic shot of New Comiskey Park (now known as US Cellular Field) on the back of Fernandez' card. It would be the first attempt at a color picture on the back of a Topps Baseball card. Granted, the fact that they changed over to a white card stock made it possible, but it was the start of better things to come regarding the back of these cards. Alex Fernandez was a highly decorated college pitcher. He was the precursor to that guy who pitches for half a season in DC. He won the Dick Howser Trophy as National College Baseball Player of the Year, and he won the Golden Spikes Award, which honors the best amateur baseball player in the country. It was no wonder that the White Sox had to nab him as their number 1 pick in the 1990 draft (he was fourth selected overall, behind Mike Lieberthal, Tony Clark, and some kid named Chipper). Eight games in the minor leagues later (2 games each with the Rookie GCL team and Sarasota of the FSL and 4 games in Birmingham, the organization's AA team), and Alex wound up being recalled to the big club in Chicago. In 13 games with the Sox in 1990, he went 5-5 in his decisions with a 3.80 ERA and 61 strikeouts. In 1992, Alex went 8-11 with an ERA of 4.27 and 95 strikeouts in 29 games. When the White Sox won the division in 1993, Alex Fernandez was the perfect complement for ace Jack McDowell, with a dominating 18-9 record and 169 strikeouts to go with career lows in ERA (3.13) and WHIP (1.164). It would be the first of five consecutive years that he would win at least 10 games during the season without a losing record. When he became a free agent, he took a chance and signed on with his hometown team, the Florida Marlins. He left the White Sox after seven productive seasons, a 79-63 record, 3.78 ERA, and 951 strikeouts. In his first year with the Marlins, Alex earned the win in 17 of the 32 games he started (12 losses) and was on the postseason roster as the team made its run to the World Series. Shoulder problems during the playoffs kept him off the official WS roster, but nonetheless, he earned his World Series ring as the Marlins beat the Indians in 7. The shoulder problems did not go away and Fernandez was sidelined for the entire 1998 season. He came back in 1999, and did pretty well, but by 2000, after 8 games, the injuries took hold once again. So in 2001, he retired as an active player. Since then, he has involved himself in radio and politics around Miami Beach. He is the director of baseball operations at a high school in Southwest Ranches. He has lent his name to a couple of shops in the Miami area that sells baseball equipment (here is the website), and in 2008, he was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 14 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps #593. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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