In 1984, the Detroit Tigers won the World Series with the help of pitcher Willie Hernandez, who passed away at age 69. That year, Hernandez won both the American League MVP and Cy Young Awards, marking the beginning of a run of three consecutive All-Star appearances. He served as the Tigers’ closer that season, appearing in 80 games and notching 32 saves in 140.1 innings. Hernandez also achieved a career-best earned-run average and finished 68 games.
The Tigers expressed their deep sadness over Hernandez’s passing in a statement, highlighting his integral role in the team’s World Series victory and his recognition with MVP and Cy Young honors. Alan Trammell, Hernandez’s former teammate, remembered him as a great teammate and expressed his sorrow over the news of his passing. Hernandez joined the Tigers in 1984 and finished his career in 1989 at age 34. Before joining the Tigers, he spent six-plus seasons with the Chicago Cubs before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hernandez will be remembered for his vital contribution to the Tigers’ world championship win in 1984, where he earned 78% of the MVP votes. He is also one of just three relievers in MLB history to win both the MVP and Cy Young Awards in the same season. This story is still developing, and updates will be provided as they become available.