Willie Hernandez Death Cause And Obituary: What Happened To Him?

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Willie Hernandez death: Many members from the 1984 World Series championship team of the Detroit Tigers have sadly left us.

On Monday, the baseball community mourned the loss of the first relief pitcher, Willie Hernandez.

He passed away at the age of 69 in his Florida residence after battling health challenges for the past few years.

The Detroit Tigers officially confirmed this sad news on Tuesday, expressing their respects to Hernández in a heartfelt tweet.

Willie Hernández Recorded An 8-7 Record, Securing Four Saves, And Boasted An Impressive 3.03 ERA Across 67 Appearances, Spanning A Total Of 110 Innings
Willie Hernández Recorded An 8-7 Record In 1977, Securing Four Saves, And Boasted An Impressive 3.03 ERA Across 67 Appearances (Source: baseballhall)

Willie Hernández, a distinguished Puerto Rican baseball relief pitcher, has etched his name in history. 

He achieved the remarkable feat of winning both the American League Cy Young Award and the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1984.

This stellar performance was pivotal in leading the Detroit Tigers to clinch the coveted World Series championship.

His professional journey commenced in 1973 when he inked a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He transitioned to the Chicago Cubs after being acquired in the 1976 Rule 5 Draft.

In a defining move in March 1984, Hernández was traded to the Detroit Tigers.

This marked a crucial juncture in his career, culminating in a historic championship victory.

Willie Hernandez Death Cause And Obituary

Willie Hernandez, whose health had been affected by heart conditions following his illustrious playing career, passed away at his residence in Sebring, Florida.

They anticipate holding funeral services in Aguada, Puerto Rico, the birthplace of Hernández.

While an official cause of death has not been disclosed, it is known that he faced heart troubles several years ago, leading to the installation of a pacemaker.

In 2019, Hernández candidly shared his perspective, stating,

“I passed away putting a pacemaker into my heart, and I woke up later on.”

The initial announcement of Hernández’s passing came from MLB Insider reporter Hector Gomez.

Héctor Gómez Announces The Demise Of Willie Hernandez On November 21, 2023
Willie Hernandez Death: Héctor Gómez Announces The Demise Of Willie Hernandez On November 21, 2023 (Source: Twitter)

Likewise, Tigers spokesman Chad Crunk confirmed on Tuesday that Hernández had passed away in Florida, and the team later verified his death with his family. 

The Detroit Tigers issued a statement expressing their deep sorrow over Hernández’s demise:

The Tigers are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Willie Hernández. A 13-year Major League veteran, including his final six seasons wearing the Olde English ‘D’, Hernandez was a key member of the Tigers 1984 World Series championship team, earning American League MVP and Cy Young Award honors that season. He was also selected to three AL All-Star teams during his six seasons in Detroit. Our thoughts are with the Hernández family, his friends, and teammates.

Former Tigers star Alan Trammell shared his condolences, saying,

“Willie Hernández was a great teammate, and I’m terribly sorry to hear the news of his passing. I will never forget our team’s celebration together on the mound after he recorded the final out of the 1984 World Series. He will always be remembered as a World Series champion. My thoughts and prayers are with this family.”

Hernández achieved a rare feat, becoming just the third player in baseball history to secure MVP honors, the Cy Young Award, and a World Series victory in a single season.

This exclusive club previously included Sandy Koufax (1963) and Denny McLain (1968).

A Journey Beyond the Diamond – Family, Business, and Health Challenges

In 1978, Hernández exchanged vows with Carmen Rivera, and they welcomed two sons into their family together.

Guillermo, born around 1981, and Xavier, born approximately in 1982, enriched their lives.

Following the end of his illustrious playing career, Hernández transitioned into entrepreneurship.

He owned and managed a steel construction business in Puerto Rico.

MLB Pays Tribute To The Legendary Willie Hernández In A Heartfelt Tweet, Commemorating His Impactful Legacy
Willie Hernandez Death: MLB Pays Tribute To The Legendary Willie Hernández In A Heartfelt Tweet (Source: Twitter)

Eventually, he decided to divest from the construction industry, shifting gears to operate a cattle ranch.

Unfortunately, a decline in health marked his post-playing years.

Afflicted by asthma and diabetes, he faced the challenges of multiple strokes and underwent heart surgery in 2009.

Aditya Rana
Aditya Rana

Aditya Rana

Aditya Rana is a skilled editor and writer with a passion for curating compelling content that resonates with sports enthusiasts. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, he ensures that each piece meets the highest standards of quality and engages readers on a meaningful level.


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