|Birth Day:||April 21, 1963|
|Death Date:||Oct 10, 2004 (age 41)|
3-time All-Star and 1996 National League MVP with the San Diego Padres who died from a drug overdose.
As per our current Database, Ken Caminiti died on Oct 10, 2004 (age 41).
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Ken Caminiti was an accomplished football player in high school.
Caminiti was born in Hanford, California on April 21, 1963 to Yvonne and Lee Caminiti who had another son, Glenn and a daughter, Carrie. He starred in football and baseball at Leigh High School in San Jose, California, where he graduated in 1981. In football, he was invited to many all-star games after his senior football season. He attended San Jose State University where he played baseball for the Spartans in 1983 and 1984.
Caminiti was signed as a third round pick in the 1984 amateur draft by the Houston Astros. Caminiti played professional baseball for 15 seasons, beginning with the Osceola Astros of the Single-A Florida State League in 1985. He also played third base for the Indios de Mayagüez along with Wally Joyner in the Puerto Rico Winter League. He earned a call-up to the Double-A Columbus Astros in 1987.
Caminiti made his major league debut at age 24 with the Houston Astros on July 16, 1987. In 1988, Caminiti returned to the minor leagues, playing with the Triple-A Tucson Toros of the Pacific Coast League, before he was called up to stay late in the season. Caminiti was plagued with several injuries throughout his tenure in Houston, but he still hit 18 home runs in 1994 which earned him his first All Star Game selection.
Caminiti struggled with substance abuse throughout his career. He admitted in 1994 to having a problem with alcoholism and checked himself into a rehabilitation center in 2000. In a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2002, a year after his retirement, Caminiti 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.
After six full seasons in Houston, Caminiti was traded to the San Diego Padres after the 1994 season in a 12-player trade, along with Steve Finley, Andújar Cedeño, Roberto Petagine, Brian Williams, and a player to be named later (PTBNL), in exchange for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutiérrez, Pedro Martínez, Phil Plantier, and Craig Shipley. In San Diego he reached career highs at the plate by hitting .302 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI in 1995, which rose to .326/40/130 in 1996. Despite playing most of 1996 with a torn right rotator cuff, his performance earned him the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In 1998, Caminiti led the Padres to the 1998 World Series where they lost to the New York Yankees in four games.
Caminiti won three Gold Glove Awards while playing for the Padres in 1995, 1996, and 1997, and he was unanimously selected as the National League's MVP in 1996. In 1994, 1996, and 1997, he appeared in the All Star Game. Caminiti is the Padres All-Time leader in slugging percentage (.540) and OPS (.924).
Caminiti returned to Houston as a free agent in 1999 after signing a $9.5 million contract, where he played for two more seasons. He was slowed by injuries during his second tenure in Houston, and after struggling the first half of 2001 with the Texas Rangers where he hit just .232, he was released and finished his career with the Atlanta Braves, who moved him across the infield in an effort to fulfill their desire for a power-hitting first baseman.
Caminiti also had a long struggle with cocaine, having been arrested in March 2001 for possession and sentenced to probation. In February, 2003, Caminiti tested positive for cocaine while already on probation for cocaine possession and was ordered to visit a Texas Department of Criminal Justice-operated treatment program. The program was eliminated in May of that year and Caminiti was forced to leave after completing 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 jail but given credit for time already served and released.
In 2016, he was posthumously elected into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame.
Currently, Ken Caminiti is 59 years, 2 months and 8 days old. Ken Caminiti will celebrate 60th birthday on a Friday 21st of April 2023.
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