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09/27/2005 Archived Entry: "Mexican League News : Miguel Fernandez"
By Carlos Fragoso
Miguel Fernandez , one of the finest baseball players ever to participate for 14 years in the Mexican League, passed away in Puebla in Sept, 24 at the age of 71.
A sure shot to play in Major Leagues , considering that he possesed 5 tools hardware, a slick fielding SS in his beginnings, also hit for poers being switch hitter, the very first well know mexican player to have that skill, had many attempts to be taken to the American baseball, having in Cuban Preston Gomez convincing him to play for L a Habana Sugar Kings of the International League back in 1959, however a homesicked Fernadez soon return home.
Pittsburgh Pirates, to whom Tigers had a convenat ,tried very hard to take him to USA but Miguel never accepted.
A Veracruz state native, he was born in the suburban village of Las Choapas , close to the city and port of Veracruz.
He was last seen in last May in Puebla, while participating in the old timers game between Tigers and Puebla, he made his debut in 1956 with Tigers.
His numbers in LMB were, .286, 185 , 909 in his career, also excells in the old Liga de Sonora which later derived into the existing Mexican Pacific League, playing for Guaymas Oystermen.
Kown as the only true 5 tools player ever in Mexico, a natural hitter both for average and power ,also liked the dolce vita, which shortened his playing career.
Our friend and best baseball writer in Mexico, Tommy Morales, cited in his book " The best Mexican Players" wrote in 1992, as one of the top ten players who never played in big leagues, along with Hector Espino, Angel Castro, " La Mala" Torres, Ronnie Camacho, Leo Rodriguez, Jesus " Chanquilon" Diaz, Ramon " Diablo" Montoya, Nelson Barrera, Moi Camacho.
A record setter for most Grand Slams in Mexicn League ,with 9, he also hit 3 homers in one game, and 2 homers in one inning, back in 1963. He also set Mex Pac record for mst doubles in a season with 27, that still stands playing for Guaymas.
Led LMB in triples in 1956 (10), 1963 (11) and 1964 (10) hitting a total of 93 in his carreer, 4th best number
In 1965, playing for Mexico City Red Devils against Washington Senators in a spring training exhibition game held here, had a GWRBI single in the bottom of the 10th to beat Senators and manager Gil Hodges.