Roberto Hernandez, a 17-year Major Leaguer who played for 10 different big-league clubs has been named to the Valley Baseball League Hall of Fame. Hernandez was born in Puerto Rico on November 11, 1964, but moved to New York City at the age of 2. He played his junior and senior baseball seasons with the New Hampton School, a private school in New Hampshire.
In 1984, Roberto Hernandez attended the University of Connecticut as a catcher and was named the starting catcher during the 1985 season. After the ’85 season, Hernandez was sent to play summer ball here in the Valley League for the Front Royal Cardinals. Hernandez was known for his strong arm and wanted to try his hand at pitching. However, the Cardinals were short staffed on catching and Roberto was the only catcher on the roster. The coach promised that when they added another catcher, he would get his shot. His chance arrived, and in his first start against the team from Madison he would go on to strike out 14 batters.
Following the summer in Front Royal, Hernandez entered the transfer portal and ended up at USC Aiken in South Carolina. Hernandez was selected as the 16th pick in the First Round of the 1986 Amateur Draft by the California Angels. During the 1989 season while still in the minors he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Roberto made his Major League Debut on September 2nd, 1991, as the Starting Pitcher for the White Sox in their game against the Kansas City Royals.
While he made his Major League Debut as a Starting Pitcher, he saw most of his success and spent the majority of career as a relief pitcher. Over the course of his 17-year career, Roberto played for ten different teams: Chicago White Sox (1991-1997), San Francisco Giants (1997), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2000), Kansas City Royals (2001-2002), Atlanta Braves (2003), Philadelphia Phillies (2004), New York Mets (2005), Pittsburg Pirates (2006), New York Mets (2006), Clevland Indians (2007), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2007). On August 16, 2007, he became the 11th pitcher in MLB history to appear in his 1,000th game. He did so while playing for the Dodgers versus the Houston Astros.
Welcome to the VBL Hall of Fame!