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He Was an Oriole for 24 Games


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Chico Fernandez played 11 seasons in the Minor Leagues, from 1958-1969.

He finally got to go north with a Major League team in April of 1968 with Hank Bauer and the Baltimore Orioles, and he stayed on the roster for the whole season. He played his final game that season on September 15th, under new manager Earl Weaver.

In those 6 months he only played in 24 games, having 19 plate appearances. He served mostly as a late-inning replacement for middle infielders Mark Belanger and Davey Johnson.

The next season, he was assigned to the AAA-Rochester Red Wings, finally calling it a career after a handful of games with them.

Happy 77th birthday, Chico. You must have had some tenacity and intestinal fortitude to play all those years in the Minor Leagues, just for the chance to put on a Major League uniform someday.


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By the way, I apologize for the thread title being somewhat misleading.

Fernandez was actually an Oriole for a whole year. He was on the roster for the entire 1968 season.

He played in 24 games in that season.

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I'm pretty sure Chico was severely injured when he was hit in the head with a pitch, either in the majors or in the minor leagues. It was touch and go for a while IIRC, but I do remember Chico as a reserve infielder, and a lovely guy.

Thanks, Roy.

I wonder if that happened in '69, the year after he played in the Majors for the Orioles ??? He only played in 4 games that year (for the AAA-Red Wings), and then retired.

It would seem logical that after being on the Major League roster for a full year in 1968, he abruptly left the game the next year after being beaned while trying to gauge whether or not he was OK to continue playing.

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