Joaquin Andujar, who was a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, and who went by the nickname "one tough Dominican" has died in his native home of the Dominican Republic earlier today. He was 62.
The sport star's death was confirmed on Tuesday by the Cardinals organization. Leonardo Matos Berrido, president of the Dominican Baseball League, said the cause was diabetes complications.
The Mariners second baseman, Robinson Cano, discusses his sadness over his death. Cano, who is from Andujar's hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, said that his death was a "big pain for all baseball fans, especially all Dominicans, but even more so for all of us who had the chance to know you and learn from your example."
The Cardinals announced that they will hold a moment of silence at tonight's game for their right handed pitcher, who threw the ball harder than many other players in the game.
"Joaquin was just a big personality," said Cardinals broadcaster Al Hrabosky, who played alongside Andujar, according to CBC Sports.
"He was good for the ball club, not just for the wins but also to help keep people loose. There were times for levity and Joaquin was good at that."
Andujar played in two All Star games during his five seasons with the Cardinals from 1981 to 1985. He had 20-win seasons in 1984 and 1985, and led the National League in victories in 1984. He was also a pivotal member of the World Series team in 1982. For his career, Andujar was 127-118 with a 3.58 ERA. He also played for Oakland and Houston.
"Andujar distinguished himself for being a great competitor on the field, and for defending the Dominican players," said former major league pitcher Mario Soto, president of the National Federation of Professional Players in the Dominican Republic.
"He always worked for Dominican players to be respected and valued in the United States."
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he remembers watching Andujar play on television: "I heard a lot of great stories on the field as a competitor and stories in the clubhouse, about the personality he was, and as a teammate," Matheny said.