On Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers announced the passing of their beloved former pitcher and 1984 World Series champion Willie Hernández at the age of 69. Hernández was a relief pitcher who won numerous accolades during his time with the Tigers, including the American League MVP and Cy Young Award in 1984.
Hernández began his Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the Chicago Cubs in 1977 before joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983. He later signed with the Tigers in 1984 and became a key member of their championship team that year. During his six seasons with the Tigers, Hernández was a three-time All-Star and recorded an impressive record of 147 saves, a win-loss record of 70-63, struck out 788 batters, and maintained an ERA of just 3.39.
The Tigers released a statement on Tuesday expressing their deep sadness over Hernández’s passing and honoring his contributions to their organization. They noted that he had been a valuable member of their team during their run to victory in the 1984 World Series, as well as earning MVP and Cy Young Awards that season. Additionally, Hernández was selected to three All-Star teams during his tenure with the Tigers.
Alan Trammell, Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations for the Tigers, also issued a statement expressing his sorrow over Hernández’s passing and reminiscing about their time together as teammates. “Willie was an incredible player and an even better person,” Trammell said. “He brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our team both on and off the field.”
Overall, Willie Hernandez’s legacy will be remembered fondly by many within baseball community for years to come due to his impressive achievements on field but also for being an amazing human being who left behind many positive memories for those who knew him well.