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Miami Marlins Top 50 Of All-Time: 18. Alex Fernandez

Alex Fernandez led the eventual World Champion Florida Marlins with 17 wins in 1997. After rehabbing a fully torn rotator cuff, he was their opening day pitcher in 1999 and 2000.

Alex Fernandez, Florida Marlins, 1997
Alex Fernandez, Florida Marlins, 1997

Alex Fernandez pitched for the Miami Hurricanes in college, and was selected as a first team All-American in 1989. The Chicago White Sox selected him with the fourth overall pick of the 1990 draft. Fernandez earned a callup to the Major Leagues later that year, joining the rotation in August and accruing a 5-5 record with a 3.80 ERA over 13 starts.

Over the next six seasons for Chicago, Fernandez made 184 starts (and two relief appearances). He posted an 18-9 record in 1993 and a 16-10 record in 1996. Altogether for the White Sox, Fernandez compiled a 79-63 record with a 3.78 ERA.

Fernandez signed a free agent contract to play with the Marlins prior to the 1997 season. In his first season with the club he posted a 17-12 record for the Marlins, helping them on their way to their first World Series title. He had a 3.59 ERA and a 1.187 WHIP, allowing fewer than eight hits per nine innings. Fernandez sustained a fully torn rotator cuff in losing Game 2 of the National League championship series against Atlanta.

After missing 1998 rehabilitating the injury, Fernandez rejoined the rotation in 1999, posting a 7-8 record and a 3.38 ERA and winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year award.

In three seasons total, Fernandez was 28-24 with a 3.59 ERA. He retired in 2001 after it became apparent that he would not be able to ever regain his pre-injury form.

He is currently a radio broadcaster, and is active in local politics in Miami Beach.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.