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30 Interesting Facts Every Fan Should Know About Felix Hernandez

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Felix Hernandez, referred to as the "King Felix," is known to throw a sinker, a slider, a changeup, and a curveball. He is famous for inducing a steady procession of groundball outs and strikeouts. He is currently playing as the starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). Here are some really unique things to know about the Venezuelan-American professional baseball player:

  1.  Dubbed as ‘King Felix,’ he was born Felix Abraham Graham Hernandez Garzia on April 08, 1986, in Valencia, Valenzuela, to Mirian and Felix Hernandez. He has an older brother, Moises Alexander Hernandez.
  2.  At the age of 14 years he was spotted by Luis Fuenmayor and recommended him to scouts, Pedro Avila and Emilio Carrasquel. He was spotted in a tournament throwing 90 mph at a tender age.
  3.  On completion of his schooling, he signed his first professional contract on July 04, 2002, with Seattle Mariners, as non-drafted free agent. He received $710,000, as signing bonus.
  4.  Hernandez chose Mariners over New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves, to be with his idol and fellow Venezuelan pitcher Freddy Garcia. Even when other clubs offered more money than Seattle, he was impressed with the way Mariners scouts treated his family.
  5.  He began his minor-league career the following spring. He logged the 2003 season with two Class-A teams, going 7-2 for the Everett Aquasox before a promotion to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
  6.  In 2004, he was assigned to the Inland Empire 66ers of the Class-A California League. He went 9-3 in 15 starts, struck out 114 batters in 92 innings. He finished the year at Double-A with the San Antonio Missions, where he finished a combined 14-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched.
  7.  As Mariners’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2004, was listed as the No.1 pitching prospect in baseball and No.2 overall behind Joe Mauer, by Baseball America.
  8.  In the 2005 Pacific Coast League, Hernandez, posted 9-4 record with a league leading 2.25 ERA and 100 strikeouts in just 88 innings for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. He was named the PCL Rookie of the Year and PCL Pitcher of the Year 2005.
  9.  On August 04, 2005, he made his debut in the Major League for the Mariners, in a 3-1 loss to Detroit Tigers. At 19 years 118 days, he was the youngest pitcher to appear in the Major League since Jose Rijo in 1984.
  10.  In the very next match at home against Minnesto Twins, on August 09, 2005, he registered his first major league win, pitching eight shutout innings in a 1-0 victory.
  11.  Over several starts in the 2005, season again and again, batters swung through his pitches for at one time he registered a streak of 112 batters before he allowed his first extra-base hit, a double by Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox.
  12.  At the end of 2005, season, he posted a 4-4 record in 12 starts with 77 strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA. With 84 1/3 innings pitched, he exhausted his rookie eligibility.
  13.  The Mariners filed an official objection to Hernandez’s potential participation in the 2006 World Baseball Classicfor his native Venezuela. They cited his earlier injury and concern about the stress on his arm which was upheld by the WBC technical committee.
  14.  Despite his preparation for his first full season interrupted by shin splints, he recovered in time to register his first career ‘complete game’ on June 11, 2006. The Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim by a score of 6-2.
  15.  On August 28, 2006, Hernandez registered his first ‘shutout’ against Los Angeles Angels, with just 95 pitches and allowing only five hits with four strikeouts. The game was the shortest in the history of Safeco Field which lasted for 1 hour, 51 minutes.
  16.  He hurled the fastest fastball of all major league starters in 2006, averaging 95.2 miles per hour. He posted a 12-14 record with a 4.52 ERA in the season. His 12 victories and 176 strikeouts also led the Mariner pitching staff.
  17.  During the offseason, Hernandez returned to his parent’s home and followed a strict regimen of diet, rest and exercise to keep him in shape and to avoid the previous season problems. He was 20 pounds lighter than the year before.
  18.  Hernandez won the honor of being named the teams’ Opening Day starter and in the process became the youngest pitcher chosen for this assignment since Dwight Gooden in 1985.
  19.  In the match against Florida Marlins, on June 17, 2008, Hernandez became the thirteenth American League pitcher ever to throw an ‘immaculate innings.’ He strikes out Jeremy Hermida, Jorge Cantu, and Mike Jacobs, in the fourth innings.
  20.  In his only bat of the season on June 23, 2008, Hernandez hits his first major league home run, a grand slam, off Johan Santana of the New York Mets. He is the first American League pitcher to hit a grand slam since May 11, 1971.
  21.  In January 2009, he avoided arbitration and agreed to a one year, $3.8 million deal. Apart from making it to 2009 MLB All-Star Game, he became one of the youngest and fastest pitchers to strike out 600 batters since Dwight Gooden during the season.
  22.  On August 25, 2010, Hernandez struck out David Ortiz to record his 1,000th career strikeout. He became the third youngest pitcher to do so since 1952, and fourth overall.
  23.  Hernandez pitched the Mariners’ first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory on August 15, 2012. He recorded 12 strikeouts, five of which were in the last two innings.
  24.  On May 28, 2011, a special cheering section for Hernandez, dubbed ‘King’s Court’ made its debut in Safeco Field. Seats are sold at a discount for the cheering section, which include a yellow ‘King Felix’ T-shirt and a yellow placard with large K.
  25.  Hernandez is married to Sandra and they have two children, Mia was born in 2005 and Jeremy was born in 2009. He has tattoos inside both of his wrists that have his wife Sandra and his children’s name and birthdays.
  26.  On April 25, 2017, he was removed from the game after a shoulder inflammation. After missing two months of game time, he once again injured his right biceps tendinitis in August.
  27.  On March 29, 2018, Hernandez made his tenth Opening Day start in a row. Only Jack Morris, Robin Roberts, and Tom Seaver, have made more consecutive Opening Day starts.
  28.  From being known to throw the ball at 100 mph, he has become a much craftier and more efficient pitcher over the years. He has been known to throw a sinker, a slider, a changeup and a curveball.
  29.  Hernandez is a spokesman for the Seattle King County Humane Society and is also the Seattle Mariners Ambassador for the Pepsi Refresh Project, raising money for the ‘Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.’
  30.  On September 24, 2018, Hernandez became a naturalized as a United States citizen. After passing his citizenship interview, he took the oath of allegiance and said ‘It means a lot, I’m proud to be an American.’
  31.  Felix Hernandez Net Worth: $90 Million

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