Kenneth Gene Caminiti was an American third baseman who played Major League Baseball (MLB). He was selected the National League Most Valuable Player in 1996 while playing for the San Diego Padres. On October 10, 2004, he died of a cocaine and heroin overdose.
Childhood, Early Life & Education
Ken Caminiti was born and reared in Hanford, California, as Kenneth Gene Caminiti. He was born on April 21, 1963, to his parents Yvonne and Lee Caminiti. He grew up along with his brother Glenn, and a sister, Carrie.
In 1981, he graduated from Leigh High School in San Jose, California.
Ken was invited to multiple All-Star Games following his excellent senior football season. He also played baseball for the Spartans at San Jose State University in 1983 and 1984.
He participated in sports such as football and baseball on a regular basis and was also a member of the high school team. Ken may have had a very different football career had he not been invited to several all-star games during his senior year of high school.
However, he was more interested in baseball and played baseball for the Spartans while attending San Jose State University.
In terms of his early career, he began playing for the Spartans in 1983 while attending San Jose State University. After finishing his studies, he was signed as a third-round choice in the amateur draft by the Houston Astros.
Ken began his professional career in 1985 with the Osceola Astros of the Single-A Florida State League.
In the Puerto Rico Winter League, he also played third base for Indios De Mayaguez. Ken was also called up to the Double-A Columbus Astros in 1987.
On July 16, 1987, Ken made his major league debut at the age of 24. His first team was the Houston Astros.
However, he returned to the minor levels in 1988 to play for the Pacific Coast League’s Triple-A Tucson Toros.
His stay in the lower leagues, however, was not permanent, as he played with the Houston Astros from 1987 to 1994.
After six seasons with the Astros, he was moved to the San Diego Padres, where he spent three years.
Caminiti set a career-best in 1995 with San Diego by hitting.302 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI, which he subsequently improved to.326/40/130 in 1996.
He returned to the Houston Astros for two seasons before joining the Texas Rangers in 2001.
His return to Houston as a free agent, though, and injuries hampered his play. He struggled with the Texas Rangers as a result, and he completed his career with the Atlanta Braves.
Awards and Achievement
Kenneth earned three gold glove trophies while playing with the Padres in 1995, 1996, and 1997. In addition, he was named the National League MVP in 1996. He has also played in the All-Star Game three times.
In addition to all of his achievements, he was inducted into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame in 2016, which is a huge accomplishment for any player in any sport on the globe.
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Net Worth and Salary
Although Ken Caminiti is no longer with us, he was a highly wealthy baseball player of his day.
His net worth is said to be USD 12 million, which is a large amount. We do not have specific information about his pay throughout his playing career.
Relationship Status| Wife & Kids
On November 14, 1987, Mr. Caminiti married a woman named Nancy Smith. It was going well at first since they were satisfied with their lives.
However, later in their marriage, there were several disagreements between the spouses that caused them to suffer as a pair.
They already had three kids, Kendall, Lindsey, and Nicole. Their issue caused the family to split up. They were married from November 14, 1987, through December 10, 2002. The cause for the split has yet to be verified.
However, looking at Ken Caminiti’s biography, we may conclude that one of the causes was his issue with drug usage.
Nancy could have considered it and its implications for their children. They may have even attempted to tackle the situation, but addiction is not a joke anymore.
After Ken’s drug problem did not improve, they may have decided to divorce.
What is the Cause of Death?
Ken’s divorce quickly became the cause of his death. Ken battled with substance usage throughout his career. He admitted to using steroids while playing baseball, which sparked controversy about his achievements and performances.
Caminiti also used cocaine, which led to his being arrested once for cocaine possession. He was even found positive for cocaine during the prohibition period, demonstrating his effort to avoid taking drugs.
Ken was admitted to a Houston court on October 5, 2004, for violating his probation. This was his fourth probation violation, and he was sentenced to 180 days in prison with credit for time previously served.
On the day of his death
Caminiti was in a friend’s apartment on October 10, 2004, when he consumed cocaine and heroin. He fainted on the floor as he exited the bathroom. After calling 911, he was brought to Lincoln Hospital. He was already in cardiac arrest.
Caminiti was confirmed dead at 6:45 p.m. According to preliminary press sources, the cause of death was a heart attack.
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His funeral was conducted at Solana Beach, California. The event gathered a large number of Padres players. Ken’s ashes were cremated and deposited at the Cambo ranch in Texas, which he co-owned with former colleague Craig Biggio.
Ken had a strong, athletic frame. Even though he was just 6 feet tall, which was relatively typical for a baseball player, he appeared to be a massive man. His most recent documented weight was 90 kg.
- Also Known As Kenneth Gene Caminiti
- Died At Age: 41
- Spouse/Ex-: Nancy Smith (M. 1987–2002)
- Father: Lee Caminiti
- Mother: Yvonne
- Siblings: Carrie, Glenn
- Children: Kendall Caminiti, Lindsey Caminiti, Nicole Caminiti
- Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
- Died On: October 10, 2004
- Place Of Death: New York, New York, United States
- Cause Of Death: Cocaine Overdose
- U.S. State: California