tony fernandez wasn't a member of the inaugural blue jays team, but he is the franchise's all-time leader in games played as his toronto tenure included three different stints with the club over a career that spanned from 1983 to 2001. after fernandez passed away just as spring training was getting started in 2020, the blue jays announced that they would wear a patch in his honor during the season. once the season finally began in july, the blue jays showed off the patch on their left sleeves - a toronto number font "1" on a black background within a white circle. i've added this 2020 topps now bo bichette card to my collection as a representative for fernandez's memorial patch:
fernandez was the everyday shortstop for toronto from july of 1984 through the 1990 season, after which he was traded with fred mcgriff to the padres for roberto alomar and joe carter. fernandez was an all-star for the padres in 1992, but was dealt to the mets after the season. after a few months in new york in 1993, the blue jays reacquired him, and he was able to be a part of their second world championship. fernandez played well in that series, and also raked in the 1997 fall classic with the indians.
in all, fernandez retired with a top-5 all-time fielding percentage for shortstops (it's hard to tell exactly where others ranked at the end of the 2001 season) and with legion fans in the us, canada, and the dominican republic. i was surprised to learn that his number 1 has not been retired by the team, but not surprised that they honored him with this patch during the season following his death.