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Ken Caminiti

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Kenneth Gene Caminiti

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[edit] Biographical Information

Third baseman Ken Caminiti won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1996, but this achievement has been clouded by his later admissions that he used steroids.

Selected by the Houston Astros in the third round of the 1984 amateur draft, Caminiti was signed by scouts Bill Hallauer and Paul Weaver. He made his pro debut with the Osceola Astros in 1985, hitting .284, and then spent the next two years with the Columbus Astros, hitting at least .300 in both seasons. He was called up to the majors in July 1987 and made his big league debut on July 16th, going 2-for-3 with a home run and a triple against the Philadelphia Phillies. Overall, in 63 games with Houston that year, he hit .246 with 3 homers. He spent most of 1988 with the Tucson Toros but also made 30 appearances for Houston.

Caminiti became the Astros' regular third baseman in 1989, hitting .255 with 10 home runs. He put up consistent numbers over the next five years with Houston and appeared in the All-Star Game in 1994. Following the 1994 season, he was dealt to the San Diego Padres as part of a 12-player trade. He hit .302 with 26 home runs in his first season in San Diego, and then put up even better numbers the following summer. He hit .326 with 40 homers and 130 RBIs in 1996 while leading his club to a division title to win the MVP Award. His average dipped to .290, and his home run total dropped to 26 in 1997.

Caminiti hit .252 with 29 homers in 1998 as the Padres reached the World Series, losing to the New York Yankees. Following the season, he became a free agent and returned to Houston. Injuries limited his playing time with the Astros over the next two years, and he moved on to the Texas Rangers in 2001. Released by Texas after hitting .232 in 54 games, he signed with the Atlanta Braves, ending his big league career with them that same year.

Caminiti was troubled by drugs during his career and had been arrested for cocaine use in 2001. After his playing days, he admitted to using steroids during his MVP season to enhance his performance. His life was a short, tragic, troubled one that ended at age 41 with a heart attack partially connected with previous cocaine use.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 3-time NL All-Star (1994, 1996 & 1997)
  • NL MVP (1996)
  • 3-time Gold Glove Winner (1995, 1996 & 1997)
  • NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1996)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 4 (1995-1998)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1996)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1996)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1996)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1996)

1995 1996 1997
Barry Larkin Ken Caminiti Larry Walker

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