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SAD NEWS: Legendary Former Closer for the Philadelphia Phillies Dies……

Legendary Former Philadelphia Phillies Closer Passes AwayLegendary Former Philadelphia Phillies Closer Passes Away - Sports  Illustrated Inside The Phillies

A legendary former closer with the Philadelphia Phillies passed away on Monday.

The baseball world mourns the loss of legendary closer Willie Hernandez, who passed away on Monday at age 69.

A native of Puerto Rico, Hernandez was one of the best relief pitchers of his era. The tall left-hander enjoyed a distinguished 13-year MLB career from 1977-1989, making three All-Star teams while splitting time with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers.

Hernandez enjoyed his greatest level of success with the Tigers after the Phillies traded him there prior to the 1984 season. The move was bad timing for Philadelphia as Hernandez immediately put together the best year of his career.

He went 9-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 140 1/3 innings, leading MLB with 80 appearances and 68 games finished. Hernandez capped off his magical season by helping Detroit win the World Series, notching three saves and posting a 1.93 ERA in the postseason.

In addition to his World Series ring, Hernandez also received his first All-Star nod along with AL Cy Young and MVP honors.

On a loaded team that won 104 regular-season games and featured stars such as Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris, Hernandez stood out for his durability and the way he nailed down a majority of the team’s wins.

Meanwhile, the Phillies were surely kicking themselves for letting Hernandez get away not once, but twice. They had originally signed him as an 18-year-old in 1973, only to lose him to the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft three years later.

They got him back via trade in 1983, and he pitched well for Philadelphia, going 8-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 63 appearances. He helped the Phillies win the NL pennant, but they fell short in the Fall Classic to the Baltimore Orioles.

Philadelphia endured close to a decade of mediocrity after that, and getting a poor return for Hernandez (Glenn Wilson and John Wockenfuss) didn’t help.

While his time with the Phillies was short, Hernandez still made a major impact and was a key part of a pennant winner.

He may have had more success with Detroit, but his contributions to Philadelphia shouldn’t be forgotten.

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