T Fernandez on Level of Excellence. Credit: S Doyle
This matchup features a couple of guys who played together on the magical team of 1985. In the franchise’s 9th year in operation, this team won the first division title in its history. These two players each had their own impact, not only on that team, but on the books of Blue Jays history.
Fernandez is the club’s all time leader in games played with 1450! He reached this total in parts of 12 seasons in 3 different stops between 1983 and 2001. He also leads the franchise in hits with 1583. As a Jay, he is a .297/.353/.412 hitter with 172 stolen bases.
Tony was better known for his glove. He won 4 Gold Gloves while with the Blue Jays. Primarily a short stop, he also manned third base early in his career and second near the end. Fangraphs lists his TZ (total zone rating in runs above average) at 43 for his career. Though, over his career, he committed 151 errors, including 30 in 1985 and 20 in ’91. Fernandez will always be known as part of the cost of trading for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.
Barfield played in 1032 games for the Blue Jays from 1981 to 1989. He’d go on to play 3+ seasons with the New York Yankees before calling it a career 1992. Barfield won 2 Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger with the Blue Jays. He hit 179 HR and hit .265/.334/.483 in Toronto. He formed the formidable outfield of that 1985 team with two guys who will also appear later in this Greatest Blue Jays competition.
A 9th round pick in 1977, Barfield was also known for his glove. For his career, his defense had a value of 104.3 (according to Fangraphs). His 39 career WAR, though, was helped out by some big seasons with the bat, like in 1985 where he put up wRC+ totals of 142 and 147 the next season. He was worth 7 and 7.5 WAR those seasons; a big reason the club won the division in ’85.
Next: Matchup 3: Shaker or Touch 'Em All?