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Long time Blue Jays infielder Dámaso García dies at 63

Sports Contributor Archive 2019

CHICAGO - 1986: Damaso Garcia of the Toronto Blue Jays fields during an MLB game versus the Chicago White Sox during the 1986 season at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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Enrique Rojas of ESPN reports that long time Blue Jays infielder Dámaso García has died at 63.

García played for 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, seven of which came for the Blue Jays, where he formed a well-regarded double play combination with shortstop Tony Fernandez, who also recently passed away. He began his career with the Yankees, who signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 1975. He was part of a big trade that sent him, Chris Chambliss and Paul Mirabella to Toronto for Tom Underwood, Rick Cerone and Ted Wilborn. García would end his career with short stints for the Braves and Expos.

García was a two-time All Star, in 1984 and 1985. He was the Silver Slugger winner at second base in 1982 when he hit .310/.338/.399 and stole 54 bases. He had a nearly identical offensive season the following year. Those were his two best at the plate. García also played for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Republic, represented his country on its national team, and served as the president of the Dominican Republic player’s union.

García’s career came to an end following the 1989 season. A year later he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1990, the surgery and recovery from which impacted his mobility. He recovered enough, however, to throw out the first pitch of a Blue Jays playoff game in 1992. In retirement he ran a baseball camp in the Dominican Republic for children who have hemophilia, which is a condition that his oldest son has.

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