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 Ken Caminiti

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Ken Caminiti

  • Original Name Kenneth Gene
  • Birth 21 Apr 1963 Hanford, Kings County, California, USA
  • Death 10 Oct 2004 Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Specifically: Ashes buried beneath a tree on Cambo Ranch in south Texas
  • Memorial ID 9580058

Major League Baseball Player: Switch-hitting Ken Caminiti was a tough as nails 3rd baseman who spent 15 productive years in the Major leagues. The NL MVP in 1996 and an All-Star in 1994 and 96-97, he was also sure handed as he won 3 gold gloves at 3rd base from 1995-97. Although he was plagued with injuries throughout career he gained a reputation for his willingness to play through pain. Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 3rd round of the June 4, 1984 amateur draft he started his major league career in 1987 and was rock steady for 7 seasons. After seven productive seasons in Houston, the gritty third baseman was traded to San Diego in a blockbuster trade on December 28th, 1994: along with Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine, and Brian Williams and a player to be named later for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier, and Craig Shipley. He immediately became one of the leaders of the Padres, helping them win the NL Western Division in 1996. Throughout his career, he was beleaguered by various injuries including abdominal strains, a torn bicep tendons, a left elbow, bad knees, chronic back pain, groin pulls, pulled hamstrings, and even dehydration. Off the field he battled alcoholism, an addiction to pain-killers, a smokeless tobacco habit as well cocaine addiction and steroid usage. Still, he became the first Padre ever to win the NL MVP in 1996. Two years later he helped lead the Padres to the 1998 NL Pennant. San Diego lost to the record setting New York Yankees in the World Series, but still, Caminitti did not disgrace himself. After the Padres were eliminated, Caminiti decided to return to Houston as a free agent for the 1999 season. An injury on an attempted steal that season tore a calf muscle, which basically ruined his season although he played 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, calamity followed him again as he fractured three bones in his lower back after falling from a deer blind during a Texas hunting expedition. A ruptured tendon in his right wrist ended his 2000 season in June, after which the Astros declined to exercise his option for 2001. He signed on with the Texas Rangers, but after a poor start, he asked for his release just before the All-Star break. After Texas released him the Braves immediately picked him up and although he batted just .228, he still blasted 15 home runs in 356 at-bats. This proved to be his last go-round in the majors. After his career, he was arrested for possession of cocaine in March 2001 and also shocked the baseball world by admitting to steroid usage, stating that a large majority of major leaguers were '"on the juice." He died from a heart attack in the Bronx, NY on October 10th, 2004 at the age of 41, less than one week after being released from jail. Over the course of his career, he accrued a .272 batting average with 239 home runs and 983 RBI's and 1710 hits in 1760 league games.

Bio by: Frank Russo

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank Russo
  • Added: 10 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9580058
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ken Caminiti (21 Apr 1963–10 Oct 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9580058, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, who reports a Ashes buried beneath a tree on Cambo Ranch in south Texas.