On Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers organization confirmed the death of former pitcher and 1984 World Series champion Willie Hernández. Hernández was a relief pitcher who won numerous accolades during his career, including the 1984 American League MVP and AL Cy Young Award. He began his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs before joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983 before eventually becoming a member of the Tigers in 1984. During his time with the Tigers, Hernández was a three-time All-Star and recorded 147 saves, a 70-63 win-loss record, 788 strikeouts, and a 3.39 ERA.
The Detroit Tigers released a statement expressing their deep sadness at the news of Hernandez’s passing at the age of 69. Alan Trammell, Tigers Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations, also released a statement expressing his sorrow and fond memories of Hernandez as a teammate. Trammell said that he will always remember Hernandez for his competitive spirit and dedication to the game. “Willie was an incredible player,” said Trammell. “He brought so much energy and excitement to our team during his time here in Detroit.”
Hernandez’s impact on baseball extends far beyond just his statistics on the field. He was known for his charisma and infectious enthusiasm for life, which earned him many fans both on and off the field. His legacy will live on through those who knew him best, as well as through generations of baseball fans who admired his talent and contributions to the sport.