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Monday, January 14, 2013

Former Major Leaguer Enzo Hernandez dies at age 62

RIP, Enzo Hernandez...more in Venezolana de Televisión.

Former Padres shortstop, Enzo Hernandez, died today in Venezuela at age 62. Apparently he committed suicide. Hernandez was the 20th Venezuela born player to ever play in the Major Leagues.

In eight years in the Majors, Hernandez hit .224/.283/.266 with 2 HR’s, 113 RBI’s and a .257 wOBA in 2,612 plate appearances for the Padres and Dodgers.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2013 at 05:11 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: obits

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   1. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 14, 2013 at 05:34 AM (#4346599)
His 1971 (12 RBI in 618 PA) is legendary. It's too bad that was the year before the season where Nate Colbert had 111 of the Padres' 452 RBI. And a season after Preston Gomez pulled Clay Kirby after 8 innings of no-hit pitching, on a day when the Padres were 29 games out of first place. Those three achievements deserved to be together.
   2. AndrewJ Posted: January 14, 2013 at 05:49 AM (#4346601)
His 1971 (12 RBI in 618 PA) is legendary.

Dick Howser was even less potent in 1965 (6 RBI in 377 PA). At one point that season he went 59 straight games without driving in a teammate.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2013 at 07:09 AM (#4346607)

The Padres announcer used to announce him this way:

"Number-Eleven-EN-zo!.....Her-nan-dez"

and yes, he used to lead off. wtf

RIP, numberelevenenzo

   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4346656)
Apparently he committed suicide.


That's his prerogative, I guess, but it still sucks.
   5. gef the talking mongoose Posted: January 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4346693)
Oh, crap.

Damned sorry to hear it. For no apparent reason (I guess I liked his name; at age 11 or 12, such things seem to carry a fair amount of weight) he was one of my favorite players when I was a kid, & when I sent him an SASE (or maybe it was just an SAS index card) asking for his autograph he complied.

I'd just get depressed if I were to look up how many of the then-current players I did that with are now dead, though Elrod Hendricks & Bill Robinson come immediately to mind. (And, of course, Harmon Killebrew. Dammit!)

RIP, Enzo.
   6. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4346752)
Man, another suicide. Flanagan, Irabu, Freel, and Hernandez, all in the last two years.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4346770)

Man, another suicide. Flanagan, Irabu, Freel, and Hernandez, all in the last two years.


Fringe MLBers Brian Powell and Keith Drumright as well.
   8. depletion Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4346792)
Man, another suicide. Flanagan, Irabu, Freel, and Hernandez, all in the last two years.

There is no logic behind this thought, but I got a little scared by this. Enzo was 5'8", 155 lb. (bbref) and got to the bigs from Venezuela. He must have had courage and worked very hard to get where he got. Can anyone translate the Spanish article in the Venezuelan site? My condolences to the Hernandez family and friends.
   9. eric Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4346820)
I wonder how many of these suicides immediately follow a cancer diagnosis or something along those lines?
   10. RMc and the Respective Punishments Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4346822)
Fun fact: Enzo had just 12 RBI in 1971, the fewest ever for a player that qualified for a batting title (post-deadball). Bob Barton, meanwhile, scored just 23 runs in 413 PA; take away his 5 HR, then Barton scored just 18 times without driving himself in. Six, or half, of Enzo's RBI drove in Barton.

In all, the 1971 Padres scored just 486 runs, or 3.02 per game (they played only 161 games) in a league that averaged 3.91 RPG. What if this team played three years earlier, in an even more arid offensive environment?

Well...the '68 NL averaged 3.43 (ouch) RPG. Do the math: the theoretical '68 Padres would've scored just 426 runs, or 2.64 runs per game. For a team with this offense to win the pennant (.600 WPCT), they would need to hold opponents to (if my math is right) 2.16 RPG. (For comparison, the pennant-winning Cardinals allowed 2.91.) This works out to a team ERA+ of (roughly) 158. Wow.

Could the Padres -- or any team -- even assemble such a pitching staff? You'd have to save about 200 runs vs. league average to make it work. Your 1968 MLB leaders in Adjusted Pitching Runs:

1. Gibson (STL) 60
2. Tiant (CLE) 40
3. McLain (DET) 38
4. McNally (BAL) 31
5. McDowell (CLE) 28
6. Seaver (NYM) 27
7. Koosman (NYM) 26
8. Bahnsen (NYY) 24
9. Veale (PIT) 23
10. John (CHW) 22

Sooo...a rotation of Gibson, Tiant, McLain, McNally and Seaver, with McDowell as your relief ace, should be able to pull it off. (They would be a hell of a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 games, but what the hey.)

Oh, and Enzo? RIP.
   11. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 14, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4346924)
According to the Spanish language article, Hernandez suffered from depression and had received treatment for it. The article also indicates that he suffered a "relapse" (if that's the right word) of depression in December.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4347089)
Depression can often hit later in life. The NIMH estimates the average age of onset at 32 years old. A friend (well, ex-friend really, lost touch for lots of reasons long ago) got whammied around 35-40 and it broke up his family. Possibly some self-medicating through alcohol and pot (neither recommended!) Looking back there were probably some hints -- the occasional overly-moody swing -- but he generally seemed a pretty happy, well-adjusted guy and his wife and kids adored him until everything kinda went to ####.

So, I guess, watch out for the signs. Here's the Mayo Clinic
   13. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 14, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4347208)
One of the classics from 1973:

http://www.comc.com/Cards/Baseball/1973/Topps/438/Enzo_Hernandez/1844845

Thanks Bruce for your hardballtimes series on the 1972 and 1973 Topps baseball card sets.

My father is about your age, so I have been able to share his memories from the early 70s era.
   14. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 14, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4347221)
Excellent suggestions, Walt.

Thanks for the mention, Bleed. Those Padres uniforms from 1972 are something else.

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