The Blacklist – Ken Caminiti

You won’t find a more tragic story than that of Ken Caminiti, a man who fought drug addiction in his final days before dying of a heart attack at 41 years of age, three years after his last big league game. One great thing you can say about Ken today is that he was not a coward and admitted to Steroid use unlike his fellow National Leaguer, Barry Bonds.

As a player he was well above-average but never great. In fact, if you take away his 1996 M.V.P season he never once reached 30 home runs or 100 RBI in one season and only hit .300 or better just once. That is why his 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and .326 average in 1996 came as such a surprise to me, even as a 16 year-old kid who didn’t even know what Steroids could do to the human body and mind.

You won’t find a bad word about Ken Caminiti at Wax Heaven. I still admire his Gold Glove plays at Third Base and his “All or Nothing” attitude on and off the diamond but because of his Steroid use he is considered a cheater and must be added to the blacklist.



  1. Ken Caminiti battled alchohol and drug addiction his whole adult life. Ken was a great baseball player. The years in which he did not drink or use recreational drugs were from 1994-1997. I know this because we were close friends for more than 30 years. When people look at his career, they see a spike in his numbers because of his admitted steroid use. When I look at his numbers, I see a spike because he was clean, with the exception of steroids. It is easy to point out that his numbers reflect steroids. This was a topic that Ken and I discussed many times. I told Ken many times that he had the ability to be a Hall of Fame player. He never believed it. Alchohol and cocaine not only took his life, they prevented him from being the great baseball player that he should have been.

  2. Dave, it is a shame that Ken did not feel adequate because he certainly was a GREAT player.

    There was a wrestler by the name of ‘Mike Awesome’ that was amazing, truly the best wrestler for a man his size who was completely unappreciated. I don’t think he knew just how great he was because he took his own life in 2007.

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