Keith Hernandez Net Worth

Written by Ivana - Reviewed by Natalija Athletes

8 min read
Net Worth $ 17,000,000
Real name Keith Hernandez
Source of Wealth Baseball career, broadcasting career, commercial appearances, acting
Profession Former baseball player, currently baseball commentator and baseball analyst
Spouse/Partner Previously married to Sue Broecker (1979 - 1983) and to Kai Thompson (2005 - 2011)
Date of Birth Oct 20, 1953
Zodiac Libra
Age 69
Gender Male
Height 180 cm / 5 ft 10 inch
Nationality American with Castilian Spanish and Scottish-Irish descent
Siblings Brother Gary Hernandez

Biography

Keith Hernandez is a former professional baseball player and a popular first baseman in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for several significant teams throughout his career, including New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.[1]

He earned multiple honors and awards that testify to his talent on the diamond field: five-time All-Star titles, two World Series championships, one MVP award, and 11 consecutive Gold Glove awards.

After retiring from baseball, Hernandez continued to be involved in the sport as a Mets’ color commentator on SNY and WPIX and studio analyst for MLB on Fox. He is considered the best defensive first baseman in the history of the sport.

As a result of his long and prolific career, Hernandez’s net worth is estimated at $17 million.

Childhood and baseball beginnings

Keith was born in San Francisco, but grew up in the towns of Pacifica and Millbrae, California.

He attended two high schools, transferring from Terra Nova High School to Capuchino High School.

Hernandez comes from a family of distinguished baseball players.

He is the son of John Hernandez, a minor league first baseman who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees in the 1940s. Keith’s brother Gary also played minor-league college baseball at Cal.

Hernandez presented himself as a promising baseball star from a young age. He played in Little League baseball with the future major league pitcher Bob McClure.

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Because he came from California and bore the surname ‘Hernandez, ’people assumed he was Mexican. His teammates also nicknamed him "Mex." In fact, the defensive first baseman’s original is a mixture of Castilian Spanish from his father’s side and Scottish-Irish from his mother’s side.

Nevertheless, Hernandez became notorious for his difficult personality and attitude issues as a teenager. After an argument with a coach, he declined to play throughout his high school career.

Luckily, Keith was able to continue his baseball career after high school. He played for a short time at the local community College of San Mateo.

He was drafted in the 1971 Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 42nd round as the 783rd pick - the last player to be selected and signed to play in the Major Leagues in 1971 draft.

Professional baseball career

Hernandez’s professional baseball career started in 1972 in the minor league playing for the St. Petersburg Cardinals.

He began in the Class-A Florida State League, but later in the 1973 season, he advanced to the Tulsa Oilers (American Association).[2]His performance bloomed, achieving a batting average of .333 with five home runs. The next season, his batting average grew to .351, which earned him a pass to the Major Leagues.

Hernandez made his major league debut on August 30, 1974, in a game against the San Francisco Giant. In 1975, Hernandez switched between the Cardinals and Tulsa Oilers.

In 1978, he secured his first Gold Glove.

At first, Keith struggled with pitching, scoring a batting average of only .250 with three home runs. Over time, he got comfortable with the bat and improved his batting average to .344. Although he positioned himself as a batter, Hernandez was considered one of the fiercest fielders.

In 1979, Hernandez was named the National League's Most Valuable Player alongside Willie Stargel. This event marked the first time in major league history two players were given the same number of points by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and were awarded the MVP title.

This was also the moment Hernandez’s career soared. He averaged .300 points and was one of the top players in the National League. He also brought his time success by helping them win the 1982 World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Despite his dazzling performance, his run with the Cardinal was coming to an end. He and the management of the team, particularly Whitey Herzog, had a falling out that lasted several years, which resulted in Hernandez being traded to the Mets in June 1983.

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However, Hernandez stated that his cocaine addiction might have something to do with him being traded, admitting he played one under the influence, but didn’t remember which one exactly.

The trade saw Hernandez shift from a World Series champion to a team that constantly found itself at the bottom of the National League East. Nevertheless, he was determined to pull the Mets from the gutter and prove his ex-manager Herzog wrong, which created an intense rivalry between the two teams.

Enforced with a new manager Davey Johnson and the skill of Hernandez, the Mets’ performance and reputation started repairing. The 1984 season was the first winning season for the Mets after 1976.

Nevertheless, amid Keith’s brilliance on the diamond field, his previous cocaine abuse and distribution resurfaced in a 1985 trial against a drug dealer in Pittsburgh. Hernandez was among the seven players who were found guilty of using and distributing the drug.

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As a result, he was suspended for the entire season, but he was released after he concurred to donate 10% of his earnings to drug abuse programs, submit to random drug tests, and do 100 hours of drug-related community service.

Hernandez also stated that he only used the drug recreationally, and it happened when cocaine was widely used among baseball players and that he never distributed it.

The Mets’ success peaked when they won the 1986 World Series - the second on Hernandez’s rack. Around this time, he got a reputation as one of the greatest fielding first basemen in major league history.

The Mets became a ferocious opponent for other teams, owing to Hernandez’s defense work against bunts.

Hernandez won his 11th Gold Glove in 1988. That year also saw the Mets lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 National League Championship Series, marking Hernandez’s career decline.

He had sustained multiple injuries to his back, leg, and knee, which limited him to only 95 games. His batting average dropped to .233, and he only played 75 games in the 1989 Mats season. After the season, the Mats didn’t re-sign Hernandez.

In 1990, he signed with the Cleveland Indians, but he played only 43 games because of injuries.

Eventually, he retired at the end of the 1990 season.

As an acknowledgment of his legacy in baseball, Hernandez was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Cardinals' Hall of Fame in 2021.

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Post-baseball acting and TV career

After retiring, Hernandez appeared in several TV shows. He played himself in the two-part episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld” - “Boyfriend” in 1992. Keith also appeared in the final episode of the show in 1998.[3]

It’s reported that Hernandez earns $3,000 yearly in royalties from his Seinfeld appearances.

Additionally, he appeared in a 1994 episode of “Law & Order”- “Wager” and an episode in the TV series “Billions” in 2018. Apart from TV show roles, Hernandez also played in the movies “The Yards” and “The Scout.”

Currently, Hernandez is working as a broadcasting commentator for the Mets’ programs SNY and WPIX and a baseball studio analyst for MLB on Fox.

Personal life

Hernandez’s first wife was Sue Broecker; they married in 1979 and divorced in 1983. They had three daughters.

He married his second wife, Kai Thompson, in 2005, but they divorced in 2011.

Hernandez is an advocate for the battle against Alzheimer's disease. His mother died from Alzheimer's in 1898, and since then, he’s been actively helping and supporting people with Alzheimer's and their families.

He is the chairman of the annual "Field of Dreams" Gala, a fund-raiser for Brooklyn's Cobble Hill Health Center, an assisted-living facility for the elderly.

Conclusion

Keith Hernandez is a former MLB baseball player. For the majority of his career, he played for St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets.

He was named five-time All-Star, has won the World Series championship two times, and has been named NL MVP. The most significant achievement in his career is that he is considered the best defensive first baseman of all time.

Hernandez is currently the color commentator for the Mets on SportsNet New York and a studio analyst for MLB on Fox. His net worth is estimated at $17 million.

References

  1. Keith Hernandez (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Hernandez (Accessed: January 9, 2023). 

  2. Keith Hernandez (2022) Society for American Baseball Research. Available at: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/keith-hernandez/ (Accessed: January 9, 2023).

  3. IMDb (no date) Keith Hernandez, IMDb. IMDb.com. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0379626/ (Accessed: January 9, 2023). 

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