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02/22/12 10:47 AM EST

Former star Fernandez joins Texas front office

The Rangers hired five-time All-Star Tony Fernandez on Wednesday to be a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.

Fernandez, who played 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, mostly at shortstop, will be in uniform during Spring Training and will continue to assist the two-time reigning American League champions throughout the season.

"We're excited to welcome Tony to our organization," Daniels said in a statement. "His work ethic and performance on the field are matched only by his grace and commitment to the community. He'll be able to help our players in a number of ways."

Fernandez, 49, played for the Blue Jays, Padres, Mets, Reds, Yankees, Indians and Brewers during his career, winning four consecutive AL Gold Glove Awards at shortstop from 1986-89. Fernandez played in 2,158 Major League games, collected 2,276 hits and finished with a career average of .288. His .979 career fielding percentage at shortstop ranks sixth all-time among players with at least 1,000 games there.

Fernandez also thrived in the postseason, reaching the playoffs with five different clubs, including the 1993 World Series champion Blue Jays. Fernandez hit .327 in 43 postseason games and thrived on the big stage, batting .395 with 13 RBIs in 11 World Series games.

Since his retirement in 2001, Fernandez has earned several degrees in ministry school and is an ordained minister. He also assists in the operations of the Tony Fernandez Foundation, a nonprofit organization with offices in the U.S., Canada and Dominican Republic that helps people in need all over the world.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.