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Monday, March 15, 2010

Manny Hernandez, Signed Baseball - 356

Check out the revisited Manny Hernandez feature from September, 2012: Manny Hernandez, Few Minutes

Manny Hernandez had just made the big club. He had also just got his first major league win, June 13, 1986, pitching 5.2 innings in a 4-1 Astros win.

"I'm so happy," Hernandez said in a wire account of the game published in the Miami News. "I've been waiting since 1979 to pitch in the big leagues. My dream has come true."

Hernandez had been signed by the Astros as a 17-year-old free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Hernandez worked his way through the minors, staying in A ball through 1983. In 1984, he made the jump to AAA Tucson, then to Houston in 1986.

His 1986 call-up came after an opening left by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Ryan suffered an elbow strain and Hernandez was the beneficiary.

Hernandez pitched in nine games for Houston in 1986. He was a longshot to make the Houston rotation for 1987. He made it back, but not until September, pitching in six games, going 0-4. In one game, Sept. 10, Hernandez gave up the winning rally.

After a stint in the Twins system in 1989, Hernandez was picked up in August by the Mets. He also got a September call-up. The call-up would be his last. He only pitched in a single game that year. In one inning, he struck out one and gave up no runs. He hung on at AAA through 1991.

For his career, Hernandez only got two major league wins, both in 1986. That first win was notable in that Giants manager Roger Craig accused Houston closer Dave Smith of doctoring the baseball. Craig wanted to see the ball, according to The Associated Press wrote.

But it was Hernandez who ultimately got the ball. It also ended up with something on it, but it wasn't scuffs.

"I'll never forget this day in my life," Hernandez told reporters. "Right now I don't believe I'm in Houston with my first victory. I got the ball from Mark Bailey. I want all my teammates to sign it."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 79/880 - 8.9%
Made the Majors: 47 - 59%
Never Made the Majors: 32 - 41%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 16
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 28

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