I was able to add another signed card to my Mets autograph collection binder last week. Shortstop Chico Fernandez finished his major league career with the New York Mets in 1963, hitting .200 with one home run and 9 RBI in 58 games. The next spring, the Mets traded Fernandez to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Bobby Smith, who played two years for them.
During a career that spanned eight seasons, Fernandez also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers. According to Wikipedia, he was the first African-American to appear in a game for the Phillies in 1957.
Beckett Media lists 42 different Chico Fernandez baseball cards, including a certified autograph insert in this year’s Topps Heritage set. The 1991 Wiz Mets stadium giveaway set features the only baseball card that shows Fernandez in a Mets uniform.
I wrote to Fernandez and asked him to sign my baseball card, and I sent a donation. He sent back my card, along with a signed 1961 Topps card.