|ONE OF THE ALL-TIME GAMERS.|
|CAMINITI'S STORY WOULD MAKE A COMPELLING MOVIE.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- One tough son of a bitch and tortured soul, Ken Caminiti was a three-time All-Star reveled for playing through a litany of injuries. But he wasn't indestructible. Despite winning the 1996 NL MVP, Caminiti was a chronic substance-abuser who ran with the wrong crowd. In '02, he was the first superstar to go on the record and detail how prevalent performance enhancing drugs were. Two years later, after several attempts at rehab, he died from a cocaine overdose at age 41. He left behind an ex-wife and three daughters.
- On Aug. 18, 1996, the Padres played the Mets in Monterrey, Mexico. Sick and dehydrated, Caminiti was determined to play and needed 2 liters of intravenous fluids. He showed his mettle by homering twice and going 2-for-3 with four RBI in the 8-0 victory.
- Caminiti won the MVP in '96 despite playing the majority of the season with a torn rotator cuff. He still managed to have one of the greatest seasons for a third baseman. He slashed .326/.408/.621, hit 40 homers with 130 RBI and 11 steals. He won the MVP unanimously, only the fourth NL player to do so.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- Caminiti made his major-league debut with the Astros in '87, but never hit more than 18 homers in his 10 years in Houston.
- The Padres acquired Caminiti in an 11-player trade that's just easier to copy from B-R: December 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros with a player to be named later, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams to the San Diego Padres for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
- In his first season in San Diego, Caminiti hit 26 homers and drove in 94, slashing .302/.380/.513.
- In a Sports Illustrated cover story in '02, Caminiti said he began using steroids during his MVP season to help cope with the shoulder injury.
- Caminiti developed a reputation for doing anything to play. Like the time he "treated" a cracked toenail by extracting it with a pair of pliers. Wrapping the toe, he suited up and took the field.