TheBaseballPage.com

Ken Caminiti

Ken Caminiti

Position(s):
3B, 1B, DH
Born:
April 21, 1963
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
200 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-16-1987 with HOU
Allstar Selections:
1995 GG, 1996 GG, 1996 MVP, 1996 SS, 1997 GG

Plagued with injuries throughout his tenure in the major leagues, Caminiti's willingness to play through pain became the hallmark of an impressive career. After seven productive seasons in Houston, the gritty third baseman was traded to San Diego and quickly established himself as an elite performer at the hot corner. Along the way, he battled alcoholism, an addiction to pain-killers, and a smokeless tobacco habit as well as a myriad of physical maladies to become the undisputed leader of San Diego's two division-winning teams in 1996 and 1998.

Caminiti's toughness reached legendary proportions in August of 1996, when two liters of an IV solution and a Snickers bar helped him overcome dehydration, diarrhea, and nausea and hit two home runs for the second straight game against the New York Mets in Monterrey, Mexico. The 8-0 win tied San Diego with Los Angeles for first place in the NL West; Caminiti's inspiring play eventually led the Padres to their first division title since 1984. Beleaguered at various points throughout the year by an abdominal strain, a partly-torn biceps tendon, a left elbow that required reconstructive surgery after the season and chronic pain in his back, groin, and hamstrings, the beleaguered third baseman became the first Padre ever to win the NL MVP.

Until he came to San Diego in a blockbuster eleven-player deal in December 1994, Caminiti rarely showed the sort of power that would come to be expected of him. There was no doubt that the rising star was a steady fielder but he never hit more than 18 homers a season in an Astros uniform. After a hot start in his first call-up to Houston in 1987, Caminiti's hitting tailed off, and it wasn't until 1989 that he finally won a full-time job at third base.

Even though Caminiti batted .255 with 10 homers and 72 RBI in his first full season at the hot corner, the switch-hitter wasn't immune to the sophomore slump. In 1990, Caminiti slugged just four homers and struck out nearly 100 times in over 500 at-bats, and found his job threatened by top prospect Jeff Bagwell, a late-season acquisition from Boston.

But when Bagwell moved to first base for the 1991 season, Caminiti returned to form. His outstanding play at third and clutch hitting helped him keep his job (were it not for Matt Williams, Caminiti could well have won a Gold Glove or two along the way) and eventually, his rapid improvement as a left-handed hitter would make him a fixture in the Houston lineup.

Ironically, Caminiti credited a separated shoulder suffered during the 1992 season as key to his development from the left side of the plate. "It kept me from trying to pull everything," he reasoned, "I learned how to hit, how to use more of the field." Not coincidentally, Caminiti ended the season with a career-high (and team-high) batting average of .294. Two years later, he set another personal best with 18 homers in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

But Caminiti's emerging power stroke wasn't enough to stave off another challenge from an up-and-coming prospect. Convinced that Phil Nevin, their first pick overall in the 1992 draft, was a future star at third base, the Astros pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal that sent Caminiti, Steve Finley, Andujar Cedeno, Roberto Petagine, and Brian Williams to San Diego for Derek Bell, Ricky Gutierrez, Phil Plantier, Doug Brocail, Craig Shipley and Pedro Martinez.

The move from the Astrodome to Jack Murphy Stadium -- combined with a more rigorous conditioning program -- highlighted Caminiti's growing power. In his first season in San Diego, Caminiti finally topped the twenty-homer mark with a career-high 26 and set a major-league season record by homering from both sides of the plate in three games.

(Making the feat more extraordinary is that all three games came in the space of four days, September 16, 17, and 19 and doing it two days in a row set another mark.) He also achieved new highs in batting average (.302) and RBI (94) as well as doubles and walks, and cemented his defensive reputation by earning his first Gold Glove.

All of this was just a prelude to his gutsy MVP performance in 1996. Caminiti's shoulder injury was so bad that he couldn't raise his glove hand above his head or extend his left arm while batting, but he still posted one of the most outstanding seasons in franchise history, setting club records with 40 homers, 130 RBIs and a .621 slugging percentage. Caminiti also won another Gold Glove while leading the Padres to the NL West title. The following season, Clete Boyer gave Caminiti an autographed photo inscribed: "You're better than Graig Nettles, Brooks (Robinson) and myself. You're the best third baseman I've seen."

Although he would remain a productive player, winning another Gold Glove in 1997 and returning to the postseason with the Padres in 1998, injuries continued to bother Caminiti. Slowed by a sore groin, Ken batted just .143 against the Yankees in the '98 World Series, often falling to the ground after hefty hacks in crucial at-bats.

After the Padres were eliminated, Caminiti decided to return to Houston as a free agent. But he injured himself again on an attempted steal of second in May and spent a large part of the season on the DL nursing a torn calf muscle. Caminiti rebounded to play well down the stretch and hit .471 with three home runs in the Astros' first-round series loss against Atlanta. Less than a month later, he fractured three bones in his lower back after falling from a deer blind during a Texas hunting expedition.

Caminiti hit well in his second stint with the Astros, but after a ruptured tendon in his right wrist ended his season in June the club declined to exercise his option for 2001. The veteran third sacker signed on with the Rangers, but after a poor start Caminiti asked Texas for his release just before the All-Star break. After leaving the Rangers, Caminiti was snatched up by the Braves, who were seeking another power bat for their lineup. Atlanta found playing time for him at first and third base, and while hit batted just .228 for the year, he still launched 15 home runs in 356 at-bats.

Caminiti has the names of his three daughters tattooed on his chest.

Substance abuse
Caminiti struggled with substance abuse throughout his career. He admitted in 1994 to having a problem with alcohol and checked himself into a rehabilitation center in 2000. In a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2002, a year after his retirement, he admitted that he had used steroids during his 1996 MVP season, and for several seasons afterwards. His admitted steroid abuse was discussed in the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid abuse in baseball.

Caminiti also had a long struggle with cocaine, having been arrested in March 2001 for possession and sentenced to probation.

After he had tested positive for cocaine while on probation for cocaine possession, a Houston judge ordered Caminiti to visit a Texas Department of Criminal Justice-operated treatment program in February 2003. In May the program was eliminated, so he was forced to leave. Caminiti completed most of the program.

On October 5, 2004 – just five days prior to his death – he admitted in a Houston court that he had violated his probation. He tested positive for cocaine in September 2004. It was his fourth such violation and he was sentenced to 180 days in prison but given credit for time already served and released.

Death
Caminiti died at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx on October 10, 2004. Preliminary news reports indicated he died of a heart attack, but the autopsy results stated that "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine and opiates" caused his death, with coronary artery disease and cardiac hypertrophy (an enlarged heart) as contributing factors. Rob Silva, an acquaintance of Caminiti who spent part of the day with him on October 10, told Newsday that Caminiti was edgy and depressed on the day he died, but also said he did not witness Caminiti using drugs on that day

This day in baseball history

September 02

  • 2006

    On September 2, 2006, Cleveland rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff hits ...

  • 1996

    On September 2, 1996, David Cone of the New York Yankees mak ...

  • 1996

    On September 2, 1996, Mike Greenwell of the Boston Red Sox s ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

 
Tagged:
Gold Glove, Houston Astros, Ken Caminiti, NL MVP 1998, San Diego Padres, Steroid Era, The Mitchell Report

Comments

  • problem31 said: Live online video universal download method (mcq0544 share) AD: 28 yards to push the invitation link, click to register 28 push Forum in his blog, wrote a lot of articles about the network promotion, the change in style, write articles sharing network applications, Oh I hope you feel interest in Kazakhstan. Because they often make use of video website promotion, also often on the Internet to download some online video, Women Kevin Durant KD 6 and let a busy day's work I can relax and look at the video. Sometimes some videos online viewing only, Suman, the buffer looks unhappy, but would like to download to your local hard disk, the other is Nike Blazers not yet available for download address, so I was forced to learn some methods. Now just like to share the experience under their own download online video, I believe there is a way to help you to download video. Fifth special way, is universal Kazakhstan, as long as online viewing, Kobe Bryant we will be able to Nike Air Force one download. one: WMV ASF and other formats of network video in general this format video, Windows Media Player is the default player, such as video, usually Nike Free 3.0 V4 Women just in the player, point Right-click and select Properties (r) will be able to see the URL of the video player. Then you can download this video. Example Address: http: Nike Air Max 95 Men //www.5kanmm.com/forum/dispbbs.asp boardID = 15 \u0026 amp; ID = 10992 Legend 1:? Two: network video RM RMVB and other Nike Lunar popular formats 1: local RM format video playback in the play within the device, right click and choose to play Nike Free 3.0 V4 Men in RealPlayer (if your machine has certainly RealPlayer installed this Nike Running popular player software Kazakhstan) Nike Kobe 9 Elite High-Top and then will play in RealPlayer to play locally, then choose the navigation column on the player \u0026 ldquo; Files \u0026 rdquo; and then continue to choose clip properties, and then choose to view a clip information, you can find the URL of the video. Example: http: //www.5kanmm.com/forum/dispbbs.asp boardid = 15 \u0026 amp; Air Max for Men id = 23419 Legend? 2: Legend 32: After the NIKE KD 6 NSW disconnection query method to open the online network broadcast address, to let the video buffer, the first unplug the network cable, and then press the play button, make the video connection network. Because the break is certainly not connect. The system will play the video URL address, tips can not connect to the URL address. This put the URL of the video to find out. See Legend 4 III: HTML source code for querying this method should be more common method webmaster friends, if other Nike Zoom Shoes sites do not hide the URL address, you can use this method to find a URL address. There is open online network video playback page and click the right mouse button and select View Source, the system will automatically open a txt text, under normal circumstances, there are Women Kevin Durant KD 7 a lot of dense text and code, and then look for extension of the video format such is RM video Find .rm, you Nike Basketball should soon be able to find the video playback URL address. Four: use Maxthon (Maxthon) Web browser remember Sina basically WMV video format, nor is encrypted directly with the first property right health check method can be found playing the Nike Hyperdunk 2014 video URL address, found the back die, check the source code too. At that time I did not know how Nike Hyperdunk 2013 Nike Air Max 95 Women to do, but often find that some people still reproduced Sina video. Until a co-worker introduced me to Maxthon Web browser can easily find videos, I can easily obtain the URL of Nike Air Max the Sina video. Specific operations, first with Maxthon to open the playback page, such as the Nike Free video address Sina http://ent.sina.com.cn/y/2006-09-30/01431269691.html, then select an icon at the top right of the browser (shown in red marker) Legend 5: then will pop up a page (see figure below) select the media, you can see the video URL address of the legend 6 Five: the Nike Jordan Hydro 2 use of professional tools specifically looking for online video playback URL Air Max for Women address of the software tool , such as \u0026 ldquo; audio sniffer expert \u0026 rdquo; and \u0026 ldquo; sniffer \u0026 rdquo; are relatively good video playback URL address lookup tool. I have specialized network sniffer test a little, talk with you about how to use. Download a \u0026 ldquo; sniffer \u0026 rdquo; this software is installed on the machine, under the Baidu search can find a lot of places to download. After installing, open \u0026 ldquo; sniffer \u0026 rdquo; select start sniffing, and then use IE browser to enter the URL address you want to Nike Kevin Durant KD 6 view the video pages, online play this video, network sniffer will automatically put the video URL address to find out. Now popular Lebron James Shoes video podcast URL address of flv format network, also use this software to find out. See illustration 7: Six: The Ultimate download videos approaches are talking about this method is not relying on any tools, but you can download any online video can be viewed online. Whether common video formats mentioned above, as they are now the most popular podcast web FLV video formats are able to download. This method is even today only from department managers to learn there, to sell off now Kazakhstan. This method does not know how many friends have used, but Nike Free 3.0 V4 I believe that most ordinary users never used. What we're looking at a video on-line, such Cheap Nike Free Outlet as watching a video podcast network, can see significant progress cushion, when complete reading the entire video, or buffering progress completely finished, in fact, our computer has to be downloaded to the video IE temporary folder, the specific operation is an example address: www.mcq0544.com1, let the video online play again 2 because it involves documents and some properties are Nike Hyperchaos Shoes 2013 hidden, so first set about, first open My Computer, Toolbar - Folder Options - View - Select Show hidden files and folders - point to determine 3, and then open the C drive --Documents Air Nike Shoes Global Jordan Outlet and Settings - Administrator (this is the user name, if you set the user name is the user name you set folder) - Local Settings - Temporary Internet Files4, my IE temporary folder (see illustration 7) the documents are arranged by size, because the video files are large, natural came in the Nike Shoes front, we can see from the figure, the top surface is flv files, these are my views today podcast, just copy from the temporary folder can be placed on the local hard drive at any time watch. General flv player can not open the file, you can download professional flv player or STORM, can watch the videos. Of course this method, any other format video has effect. Legend 8 Mcq0544 stay 2007-3-30 1:38 10:56PM 08/12/15
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles