Sunday, December 6, 2009

1976 Topps #289 - Enzo Hernandez

  • Enzo Hernandez is showing what was probably his best baseball skill -- bunting the baseball. He was usually in double figures in sacrifices and led the NL with 24 in 1975. Hernandez was signed by the Houston Astros in 1967. He played in the Houston farm system in 1967 and 1968 and then was involved in the big trade that sent Mike Cuellar to the Baltimore Orioles. Enzo played in the Baltimore system in 1969 and 1970 and then was traded to the San Diego Padres.

  • Hernandez became the starting shortstop for the Padres in 1971. He played in 143 games and had 618 plate appearances but somehow managed to drive in only 12 runs. Enzo batted .222 and all but 12 of his 122 hits were singles. He was the "Triple Crown Loser" in '71, finishing last among eligible batters in batting average, home runs (0), and RBI.

  • In 1972 Enzo played in fewer games (114) and batted .195 in 329 AB. He had a nice stolen base percentage -- 24 stolen bases and 3 caught stealing. Hernandez missed almost six weeks of the 1973 season from mid June to late July and lost his starting shortstop job to Darrell Thomas. He appeared in 70 games and batted .223 in 247 AB.

  • Enzo regained his starting SS job in 1974 and batted .232 in 512 at bats. He stole a career-high 37 bases in '74. In 1975 Hernandez played in 114 games and batted .218 in 344 at bats.

  • Hernandez had his best offensive year in 1976. He batted .256 in 340 at bats. In 1977 Enzo played in only seven games in April. Six of those games were as a late-inning defensive replacement. Enzo was 0 for 3 in the only game he started. He may have been hurt since there is no record of him playing in the minors that year.

  • In 1978 Enzo was cut during spring training and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent most of the year in AAA Albuquerque. He appeared in four games in August and was 0 for 3 before being released on August 25.
  • Liked to face: Jerry Koosman (.306 in 36 AB); Jim Barr (.344 in 32 AB); Bob Gibson (.300 in 30 AB); Doug Rau (.440 in 24 AB)
  • Hated to face: Tom Seaver (.136 in 44 AB); Gary Nolan (.147 in 34 AB); Andy Messersmith (.138 in 29 AB); Juan Marichal (.125 in 24 AB)

1 comment:

  1. i only recently learned that enzo was a dodger in 1978. i have absolutely no recollection of that.