Willie Hernandez Net Worth Before Death: Salary, Contract And Income

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Willie Hernandez was estimated to have a net worth of around $1.5 million at his death.

One of the remarkable relief pitchers of his time mostly earned fortunes from his professional baseball career.

During the ’70s and ’80s, players were not paid enough; however, as a star player, Willie managed to bag some handsome money.

Besides, he also owned and operated several businesses after retirement from his professional playing career.

Willie Hernandez, A Former Professional Relief Pitcher
Willie Hernandez, A Former Professional Relief Pitcher (Source: USA Today)

The late Puerto Rican baseball relief pitcher Guillermo Hernandez Villanueva was born as one of the eight children of his parents, Dinicio and Dominga.

He began playing baseball as a third baseman and outfielder and later transitioned to pitching.

In 1973, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Hernandez as an amateur free agent and played in the minor league before joining the Chicago Cubs in the 1976 Rule 5 draft.

The Phillies traded him to the Detroit Tigers on March 24, 1984, and the 3-time All-Star led the Tigers to the 1984 World Series victory.

Following the triumph, he won the American League Cy Young Award and the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Willie Hernandez Net Worth: Salary, Contract, And Income

Willie Hernandez started his professional baseball career with the Phillies in the minor leagues. In the minor-league system, he played with Single-Spartanburg Phillies, Double-A Reading Reading Phillies, and Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers as a starting pitcher.

During the ’70s and ’80s, the minor league players were relatively paid peanuts. Reportedly, the minimum salary of the athletes in the minors on major league contracts was around $1000 per month.

Considering Hernandez’s standout pitching abilities, he likely earned a more substantial monthly income, perhaps in the range of $2000-3000, well above the floor value.

Assuming similar figures, he should take home around $100,000, excluding the $25,000 signing bonus, in his three years in the minor league.

Later, when he joined the Cubs, his minimum salary was around $19,000, which rose to somewhat between $90,000 and $100,000 in a few years.

Willie Hernandez While Pitching For The Phillies
Willie Hernandez While Pitching For The Phillies (Source: X)

However, his salary with the Phillies in the 1983 season is not disclosed. In the following season, he started playing with the Tigers. In January 1985, he signed a four-year/$4.65 million contract extension.

Breaking down his contract, in the 1985 season, his salary was $660,000, which became $960,000 in the 1986 season.

His income gradually increased in the coming seasons, with $1,060,000 in 1987, $1,210,000 in 1988 and $1,310,000 in 1989.

Moreover, after wrapping up his professional baseball career, he started and operated a steel construction business in Puerto Rico.

Later, Hernandez sold the construction company and started a cattle ranch. These businesses also garnered him some fortune.

All in all, Guillermo Hernandez Villanueva was estimated to have a net worth of $1.5 million before his passing.

Willie Hernandez Died At The Age of 69

The 13-year major league veteran passed away at 69 after a long battle with a heart condition. Reportedly, he was struggling with heart problems for around 15 years.

In 2007, after he threw the first pitch during the Tigers’ inaugural season, Hernandez almost died while installing a pacemaker in his heart.

Following his death, Major League Baseball and his former team, Detroit Tigers, took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Furthermore, they extended their prayers to the grieving family, friends, and teammates.

Bikram Jirel
Bikram Jirel

Bikram Jirel

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