Former Blue Jays infielder Dámaso García dies

April 15th, 2020

Dámaso García, a second baseman who was an All-Star with the Blue Jays in 1984-85, helping Toronto to its first division title in '85, has died at the age of 63.

The Blue Jays acknowledged García's passing in a tweet on Wednesday.

García, a native of the Dominican Republic, spent seven seasons with the Blue Jays from 1980-86, batting .288 with a .377 on-base percentage and 194 stolen bases in 902 games. He placed fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in '80, after being acquired from the Yankees in a trade the previous offseason, and won a Silver Slugger Award in '82, when he hit .310 and stole 54 bases. He struck out only 322 times in 4,124 career plate appearances.

He was part of two stellar double-play combinations, first with Alfredo Griffin and then with Tony Fernandez, who established himself at shortstop in '85 and won four Gold Gloves in his career. García hit four doubles in that year's AL Championship Series, a seven-game loss to the Royals. He was traded to the Braves prior to the '87 season and finished up with the Expos in '89.

García was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1990 and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. His speech and mobility were affected, but he was able to return to Toronto to throw out the first pitch prior to a playoff game in 1992.