Damaso Garcia, former Blue Jays All-Star infielder, dies at 63

Former big-league infielder Damaso Garcia, a two-time MLB All Star, died Wednesday. He was 63.

Garcia played a total of 11 MLB seasons, including seven seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. During his time with the Blue Jays, Garcia made All-Star teams in both 1984 and 1985 and won an American League Silver Slugger award in 1982. He also spent time with the Yankees, Braves and Expos in an MLB career that spanned from 1978-1989.

“It is a sad day for the Dominican baseball community,” Erick Almonte, president of the Dominican national player federation, told ESPN on Wednesday.

Garcia, a native of Moca, Dominican Republic, played for the Dominican national team and was teammates in Toronto with countrymen Tony Fernandez and Alfredo Griffin. Fernandez passed away from pneumonia this past February. He was 57.

“It is a big loss. He was a historic player for Licey,” Domingo Pichardo, president of the Dominican winter ball club, told ESPN. “In this short span of time, we have suffered the loss of our greatest double-play combination of the ’80s. We are very sad.”

When Garcia finished his professional baseball career in 1989, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, but suffered speech and mobility issues.

He finished his career with a .283/.309/.371 slash line and 1,108 hits.

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