Ex-Padre Shortstop Enzo Hernandez Found Dead; Suicide Suspected

Enzo Hernandez was a light hitting base stealer for the San Diego Padres in their early years.  The 63-year -old former shortstop was found dead in his home in El Tigre, in his native Venezuela, according to the Chicago Sun-Times via Associated Press.  While no details are yet available, authorities have indicated that it was a suicide.

Hernandez' greatest value may not have been to the Padres, for whom he played all but four of his big league games (he had three at-bats for the 1978 NL Champion Dodgers), but rather to the Baltimore Orioles.

Hernandez was signed at age 18 by the Houston Astros, who dealt him to Baltimore, along with future four-time twenty-game winner Mike Cuellar following the 1968 season.  Enzo never played an inning for either of those clubs, but was included in a December 1970, deal along with three Oriole pitchers, in return for Padres starter Pat Dobson.  Dobson, along with Cuellar, made up half of the famed Orioles 1971 staff wherein all four (with Jim Palmer and Dave McNally ) won at least 20 games.

Hernandez took over the Padres' starting shortstop job upon his arrival, and proceeded to lead the National League in errors.

A lifetime .224 hitter, Enzo Hernandez remains seventh all-time in stolen bases by a Padre to this day.  

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