Saturday, September 5, 2009
Livan Hernandez, RHP
Played for Marlins: 1996-1999
Other Teams: San Francisco (1999-2002), Montreal/DC (2003-2006), Arizona (2006-2007), Minnesota (2008), Colorado (2008), NY Mets (2009), DC (2009-present)
Marlins fans know him because: He was the MVP of the 1997 NLCS and World Series, striking out 15 Atlanta Braves in an epic Game 5 of the NLCS that year. Livan was a fan favorite, as he defected from Cuba, where he was a promising pitcher on the national team, in 1995. When accepting the World Series MVP trophy at Joe Robbie Stadium, Hernandez, whose English was still weak, beamed, saying only "I love you Miami."
Everyone else knows him because: In addition to his postseason heroics for the Marlins. Livan had good stints with the Giants and Expos, becoming and innings-eater for both teams and making the NL All-Star team in 2004 and 2005 as an Expo/National. He also won the Silver Slugger award for pitchers in 2004. Livan started two games in the 2002 World Series for San Francisco, but lost both, only going a combined 5 and 2/3 innings while giving up 9 earned runs.
Best Marlins moment: Livan was the face of the Marlins 1997 team. It is difficult to overstate how much he meant to that team, winning 9 games down the stretch and dominating the Braves when the series was tied 2-2 (subbing for an ill Kevin Brown, to boot). Though I must admit, Moises Alou should have won the World Series MVP...