Legendary Former Philadelphia Phillies Closer as he Passes Away

Legendary Willie Hernandez, who passed away on Monday at the age of 69, is mourned by the baseball world.

   A Puerto Rico native, Hernandez was renowned as one of the top relief pitchers of his time. The tall left-handed player had a successful 13-year career in the MLB from 1977-1989. He was a three-time All-Star while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Detroit Tigers.
After being traded to the Tigers from the Phillies before the 1984 season, Hernandez experienced his highest level of success with his new team. Philadelphia made a bad timing move as Hernandez went on to have the best year of his career.

   In 140 1/3 innings, he achieved a 9-3 record with an outstanding 1.92 ERA. He also led MLB with 80 appearances and 68 games finished. Hernandez ended his incredible season by assisting Detroit in winning the World Series, securing three saves and achieving a 1.93 ERA in the postseason.

   Hernandez distinguished himself on a powerhouse team that achieved 104 regular-season victories and showcased standout players like Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, and Jack Morris. His enduring presence and ability to secure a majority of the team’s wins set him apart.

   At the same time, the Phillies were definitely regretting letting Hernandez slip through their fingers not just once, but twice. He was first signed by them at 18 years old in 1973, but then was lost to the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft three years later.

   In 1983, they acquired him through a trade and he performed admirably for Philadelphia, achieving an 8-4 record with a 3.29 ERA in 63 appearances on the mound. He contributed to the Phillies’ victory in the NL pennant, but they ultimately lost in the Fall Classic to the Baltimore Orioles.

   Philadelphia suffered through almost ten years of mediocrity following that, worsened by the underwhelming trade return for Hernandez in Glenn Wilson and John Wockenfuss.
Even though Hernandez’s tenure with the Phillies was brief, he still left a lasting impact and played a crucial role in the team’s championship victory.
While he might have achieved more in Detroit, his impact in Philadelphia should not be overlooked.

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