Former Tennessee Smokies player and current PGA Tour professional caddy Chico Fernandez will return to Smokies Park Thursday night.
Fernandez played for the Smokies during the 1950s-60s when the team was a member of the South Atlantic League, or otherwise known as the Sally League, which transitioned to the present day Southern League. He was a member of the 1959 Knoxville Smokies, winners of that year’s Sally League championship.
Fernandez arrived in the United States in 1952 from Cuba to pursue a baseball career, although he did not speak much English. His first season in Knoxville was in 1956.
A few of Fernandez’s teammates played and managed in the major leagues, including 1987 National League Manager of the Year Buck Rodgers.
After finishing his baseball career, Fernandez began his 38-year career as a caddy on the PGA Tour. He has caddied for golfers Mark McCumber and Billy Mayfair. As a caddy, he has won on the PGA Tour six times.
At the age of 80, Fernandez still caddies on occasion for the PGA and Senior PGA Tours. He golfs 2-3 times a week.
Fernandez will be involved with a pregame interview at Smokies Park and will spend the 5th inning on the Smokies Radio Network with Mick Gillispie.
To stay current with all the latest news, follow Smokies on Radio on Twitter and like the Smokies on Radio Facebook page. Matthew Osborne is a Broadcast and Media Intern for the Smokies Radio Network. You can follow Matthew on Twitter here: @themindoftheoz