In a heartbreaking announcement, the Detroit Tigers revealed that relief pitcher Willie Hernández has passed away at the age of 69. A left-handed pitcher, Hernández was signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies in 1973 and went on to have a successful career with several teams, including the Cubs and the Tigers.
Hernández’s best season came in 1984 when he played for the Tigers. That year, he appeared in 80 games out of the bullpen and was outstanding, going 9-3 with 32 saves in 33 chances. He had a 1.92 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 112 strikeouts against just 28 walks in a whopping 140 1/3 innings. His performance earned him several accolades, including his first All-Star Game appearance and winning both the AL Cy Young and AL MVP awards.
After retiring from baseball, Hernández underwent heart surgery to install a pacemaker in 2009. Despite his health issues, he remained active in baseball as a scout and coach for several years before passing away peacefully at his home. The baseball community mourns the loss of this beloved player who will always be remembered for his incredible achievements on the field during his time with the Tigers.