One of the more popular members of the 1980's New York Mets' pitching staff was Sid Fernandez. El Sid, as he would come to be known, was beloved by the Shea faithful for his quirky delivery, electric stuff, and his love of his home state of Hawaii. Sid Fernandez pitched with the Mets from 1984-1993, and wore number 50 to pay homage to his home state of Hawaii. While Fernandez did not have the pedigree of rotation mates Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, and David Cone, Fernandez held his own as a member of the Mets' rotation. Fernandez even made two All Star teams as a member of the Mets, in 1986 and 1987. Here are the highlights of his All Star campaigns:
1986: Fernandez put together a fine 1986 season, going 16-6 with a 3.52 ERA. While those numbers may not seem All Star worthy, Fernandez made the game after a sparkling 12-2 first half. Fernandez entered in the eighth inning with the National League trailing 3-0 and ran into some trouble, walking the first two men he faced. Fernandez regrouped, striking out Brook Jacoby, Jim Rice, and Don Mattingly in succession to escape the inning unscathed.
1987: Fernandez got off to another fantastic start and was named to the All Star team again in 1987. Fernandez was not expected to pitch in the game, but he got a chance when the National League grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the 13th inning. Fernandez was called on for the save chance in the bottom of the frame, and walked the leadoff man. Fernandez again regrouped, retiring the side in order after the walk to preserve the National League's 2-0 victory. Fernandez picked up the save for the National League, becoming only the third Met to record a save in the All Star Game (Jerry Koosman and Tom Seaver were the others). Fernandez slumped in the second half of 1987, finishing 12-8 with a 3.81 ERA on the year.
Fernandez pitched in New York until 1993, where he developed a reputation for pitching better at Shea Stadium then on the road. Fernandez did manage to put together his best career season in 1989, when he went 14-5 with a 2.83 ERA in a career high 219.1 innings pitched. Fernandez remained a fixture with the Mets for the next several years, until injuries began to affect his career. Fernandez, one of the last remaining links to the mid-80's glory days, departed for the Baltimore Orioles in the offseason of 1993. Fernandez finished his Mets career with a 98-78 record and a 3.14 ERA in 255 games as a Met. Fernandez never could truly recapture his Mets' form after leaving Queens, as he spent time in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Houston before retiring in 1998. Fernandez moved back to Hawaii after his retirement, but he will always have a special place in the hearts of Mets' fans for his exploits in the 1980's.
Check back next week as Mets 101's All Star Memories takes a look at former Mets' All Star David Cone!
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