Random Retro Baseball Player: Sid Fernandez | Sharapova's Thigh

Next up in our "Random Retro Baseball Player" series(which has been on hiatus for a while), we look at pitcher Sid Fernandez...

Years Played: 1983-1997.

Teams Played For: Los Angeles Dodgers('83), New York Mets('84-'93), Baltimore Orioles('94-'95), Philadelphia Phillies('95-'96), Houston Astros('97).

Position: Pitcher(307 Games, 300 Games Started).

Bats/Throws: Left/Left.

Career Line: 114-96, 3.36 ERA, 1.144 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 1,743 K, 25 CG, 9 SHO, 1866.2 IP.

Best Season: Very arguable; I'll post two of them(and feel free to argue away about it in the comments)...

1989- 14-5, 2.83 ERA, 1.058 WHIP, 115 ERA+, 198 K, 6 CG, 35 G(32 G started), 219.1 IP.

1992- 14-11, 2.73 ERA, 1.067 WHIP, 128 ERA+, 193 K, 5 CG, 32 G(all started), 214.2 IP.

Awards/Leaderboard: 2-Time NL All-Star('86, '87)

Top 10 In NL ERA 3 Times('85, '89, '92)

Led NL In Win % In '89, And Top 10 In NL 2 Other Times('86, '87)

7th In NL In Wins In '86

Top 10 In NL WHIP 5 Times('85, '88, '89, '90, '92)

Top 10 In NL Hits Per 9 Innings Pitched 6 Times('85, '86, '88, '89, '90, '92), And 3rd All-Time In MLB

Led NL In Strikeouts Per 9 Innings Pitched In '85, And Top 3 In NL 5 Other Times('86, '88, '89, '90, '92)

Fun Facts: Sid Fernandez, a Hawaii native(and he wore #50 to represent Hawaii being the 50th state) was a third round selection(73rd overall) of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981. He made his major league debut with them in 1983, pitching six total innings. And that was it for his career as a Dodger, as in the offseason, the Dodgers traded him and Ross Jones to the New York Mets for Carlos Diaz and Bob Bailor.

That would end up being a great trade for the Mets. Fernandez would go on to put together a 98-78 record, with a 3.14 ERA for them over nine seasons. And in 1986, when he went 16-6 with a 3.52 ERA, the Mets won the World Series(of course, their rotation was so ridiculously good that he didn't even crack it in the World Series).

In Fernandez's last season with the Mets, he dealt with a knee injury that caused him to miss half of the season, and would end up bothering him for the rest of his career. In the offseason, he chose to sign with the Baltimore Orioles, and struggled in his two seasons with the team(6-10 record, 5.59 ERA over the two seasons). Well, he didn't even make it through his second season as an Oriole, as they released him on June 29th.

But, the release ended up being a good thing for him. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies three days later, which allowed him to return to the National League where he'd had so much success as a Met. And success he had. That August, he went 5-0, and was named the National League Pitcher of the Month. He'd finish the '95 season with a 6-1 record, and 3.34 ERA. The following season, he had a 3.43 ERA, but injuries forced his season to be over in June.

In 1997, the Houston Astros signed him, but elbow problems forced that season to end after just one start. And the 34-year-old decided to call it a career.
Well, in 2001, he shocked everybody by attempting a major league comeback with the New York Yankees. The Yankees gave him a minor league deal, but pitched poorly in a game for the Columbus Clippers. He then retired again.

My Take: I remembered Sid Fernandez being a rock-solid pitcher, but I was quite impressed by just how good he was when researching for this post. A 3.36 ERA from a guy that started 300 games is outstanding.

And even though he finished with a winning record over his career, he had some seasons where he had losing records or a record around .500, which shouldn't have been the case considering the terrific other numbers(ERA, WHIP, H/9 IP, etc.) he put up in those seasons. I definitely think that these days, where we value many more statistics over win-loss record, he would be much more appreciated. I bet he would've been a five-time All-Star even.

Link To Sid Fernandez's Baseball-Reference Page

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