Wednesday, July 8, 2015
#448 Ken Caminiti
About the Back: Ken shares his April 21 birthday with fellow ex-major leaguers Gary Peters, Al Bumbry, Jesse Orosco, as well as current Dodgers rookie slugger Joc Pederson. Also: Terry Tiffee. I just wanted to say (or type) Terry Tiffee.
1. From September 16-19, 1995, Caminiti hit a home run from each side of the plate three times in a four-game span. No other switch hitter in big league history has performed the feat three times in a month, much less in four days.
2. He really broke out after a trade to the Padres, winning three straight Gold Gloves and capturing the 1996 NL MVP with a batting line of .326/.408/.621, 40 homers, and 130 RBI. Though San Diego was swept by the Cardinals in the NLDS that year, he added three more longballs in the three-game series.
3. Ken battled numerous injuries and addictions during and after his playing career. His personal demons included alcoholism, prescription painkillers, smokeless tobacco, and cocaine. After retiring from baseball, he admitted in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he had used steroids while in MLB. He died of a heart attack at age 41 in 2004.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Caminiti was the cover boy for Hardball 6, a PC game that I got some mileage out of in my teen years.
Bill James Said: "In about two years he will wake up and discover that he can't get around on a good fastball, but until then he's an above-average regular." Can't be right all of the time.
On This Date in 1993: July 8. Second baseman Billy Doran plays the final game of his 12-year career, collecting a pinch-hit single in the Brewers' 15-3 rout of the Twins. Doran spent the bulk of his time with the Astros, and retired with an OPS+ of 106 (.266/.354/.373) and 209 stolen bases.