The Tigers organization announced on Tuesday that former pitcher and 1984 World Series champion Willie Hernández had passed away at the age of 69. Hernández was a relief pitcher who won numerous accolades during his MLB career, including the American League MVP and Cy Young Award in 1984.
Hernandez began his professional baseball journey with the Chicago Cubs in 1977 before joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983. It was during this time that he made a name for himself as a dominant reliever, leading to his eventual signing by the Detroit Tigers in 1984.
As a Tiger, Hernandez quickly became a fan favorite, known for his quick delivery and ability to shut down opposing batters. He was also named an All-Star three times during his six seasons with the team, and finished his career with an impressive record of 147 saves, a win-loss record of 70-63, and a strikeout total of 788.
The Tigers released a statement expressing their deep sadness at the news of Hernandez’s passing, praising him for his contributions to their championship team in 1984. Alan Trammell, Tigers Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations, also shared his condolences and fond memories of working alongside Hernandez as a teammate.