The sports world is shocked and saddened by the death of hard-throwing, right-hander Joaquin Andujar. The former St. Louis pitcher had battled long and hard against diabetes. He died Tuesday in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris. He was 62.
Andujar started his career as a teen with the Cincinnati Reds in 1969. He broke into the majors with the Astros in 1976. He made the first of four All-Star appearances a year later. His most notable time on the mound came in the early to mid-1980s. In 1982, he pitched brilliantly against the Brewers in the World Series. In two games, he posted an ERA of 1.35 with a 2-0 record.
The next year, Andujar’s pitching suffered, and his record dropped. Control problems plagued him, but he still managed to strike out 137 batters. He went on to win 20 games in both 1984 and 1985 while striking out a total of 259 batters.
In a phone interview from Santo Domingo, Mario Soto shared his feelings about Joaquin with ESPN.
“Joaquin struggled for years with diabetes and in recent days had deteriorated a lot. He was hospitalized several times but always came out unscathed. However, he surrendered to the disease that consumed him completely. Everyone called him crazy because of his way on the mound. He was a great competitor and above all, very courageous. No one wanted to have problems with Andujar.”
Twitter and social media remembered Andujar and mourned.
Joaquin Andujar - a look back http://t.co/diqXTIFmhN— STL Cardinals News (@STLCardsNews) September 8, 2015
Our condolences to the Andujar Family, in the lost of Joaquin Andujar, one of the icons of Dominican baseball and a great competitor. RIP— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) September 8, 2015
Andujar’s career began to fizzle out after a trade to Oakland in 1986, and he returned to Houston for one last season in 1988. He worked mostly out of the bullpen before retiring at age 35.
In five years with the Cardinals, Andujar went 68-53 with a 3.33 ERA. He was eclectic and unpredictable, and often entertaining. His fierce competitor spirit and piercing stare from the mound will truly be missed.
[Photo by Ronald C. Modra / Getty Images]