We remember Chico Fernandez (1932 – 2016)

Humberto Fernandez Perez was born in La Habana on this day in 1932.  We remember him as Chico Fernandez, the first player of color on the Philadelphia Phillies and the first Latin regular position player on the Tigers.    

Chico signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 and started his minor league career.  At one point, Chico and Sandy Amoros were roommates in Montreal, then the Dodgers’ AAA franchise. He finally made it to the majors in July 1956 but did not play as a regular for the National League champs or see action in the World Series against the Yankees. 

 In 1957, Chico was traded to Philadelphia and opened the season as the shortstop. He was traded to Detroit in 1962 and enjoyed his best year:  20 home runs, 59 RBI, 10 stolen bases and a .249 average.  0

 In 1970, he started selling for Metropolitan Life, became an active figure in the local Latin American community and finally reunited with his parents who fled Cuba.   

He died in Florida in 2016.

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