These days former Major League Baseball player Keith Hernandez is a beloved figure. He’s a former member of the Mets 86 championship team, a current Mets broadcaster, Seinfeld alum and star of mens hair coloring commercials.

However, Hernandez was not so popular during his playing days-particularly with the St. Louis Cardinals. At various times during his baseball career Hernandez was suspected of being a drug addict, a narc and a homosexual. Hernandez has also  been criticized for being a bad influence on young Mets stars Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden in the 80’s.

Can’t Stop the Bleeding and Newsday have articles today about the 25th anniversary of the Keith Hernandez trade to the New York Mets.


Hernandez rarely talks about that part of his career but did so today for Newsday’s Steve Marcus on the 25th anniversary of his trade to the Mets. Hernandez admits to using cocaine.


“It was a difficult time in my life. I was in and out of my first marriage,” Hernandez said. “I was fooling around with drugs, the coke, we all know that. I don’t want to say on a recreational basis — I hate that word. There were some nights when I was up all night. I didn’t sleep. It was very destructive. This is not a performance-enhancing drug; this is a performance-destructive drug.”

Just three years after being named MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals, the first baseman was run out of St. Louis by Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog. In his 1988 biography, Herzog wrote,


“unless you spot a guy snorting coke or smoking marijuana, or unless some reliable witness comes to you or it blows up in the press, you never know for sure … There were things about him that made me suspicious, but I can live with suspicions. What I couldn’t live with was his attitude.”

Herzog went to Cardinals owner August Busch and, according to Herzog’s book, the beer baron told him to “trade the son of a bitch.”
That’s how the Mets were able to get Hernandez so cheaply from the Cardinals (for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.)



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