Félix Hernández Inducted into Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame

Félix Hernández is forever a Mariner

The 37-year-old Venezuelan former professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed “King Félix“, was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Félix HernándezHernandez walked from the bullpen as Aloe Blacc‘s song “The Man,” bellowed through the speakers. He stood on the rubber at the top of the mound, put his arms out to his side and mouthed “this is my house.”

For this night, Hernández once again commanded T-Mobile Park.

“This is not easy for me,” Hernández said, pausing during his speech. “Pitching and being there on that mound is way easier than this.”

Hernández became the 11th person to be honored by the franchise but few have a connection that runs as deep. Hernández pitched his entire 15-year career with the Mariners. He made 418 career starts, struck out 2,524 batters and threw the only perfect game in franchise history.

He was saddled with some underachieving teams during his career and his turn on the mound was one of the few reasons to regularly watch or show up.

When Hernández pitched, it was an experience. The yellow-shirted “King’s Court” was part of Hernandez’s starts at home beginning in 2011 and continuing through his last start in 2019. Fans showed up in costumes fit for royalty and chanted “K” every time there was a chance at adding another strikeout to that career total.

Those fans were back in their royal costumes and yellow shirts Saturday, and broke out a few “K” chants during his ceremony.

“I want to thank the entire Seattle Mariners organization, ownership, and staff. I’m blessed by the opportunity to play my entire career here with the Seattle Mariners,” Hernández said. “You guys took a chance on me in 2002 … out of Venezuela, just 16 years old and you stood by my side ever since.”

While the other members of the Mariners Hall of Fame in attendance — including Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. — sat in padded folding chairs, Hernández sat on the throne that was always positioned outside the King’s Court during his starts on the mound.

Hernández unsuccessfully tried to fight off tears throughout the ceremony. And he received a surprise when former teammate, regular foe and close friend Adrian Beltre made an appearance. The matchups between Beltre and Hernández were among the most entertaining in the game when they faced off as opponents.

“It’s a truly honor. The Mariners, T-Mobile Park and to Seattle, you will always be a part of my heart and my home,” Hernández said.

Felix Hernandez Signs Minor League Deal with the Atlanta Braves

Felix Hernandezis getting a second chance…

The 33-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed “King Félix“, has reached a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves on Monday that includes an invite to big league spring training.

Felix Hernandez

The longtime Seattle Marinersright-hander would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to Atlanta’s 40-man roster.

Hernandez is coming off his worst season in the majors. King Felix went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts for the Mariners and lost his place in the rotation.

Hernandez was among the best and more durable pitchers in Major League Baseball for more than a decade, a stretch that included six All-Star selections and the 2010 American League Cy Young Award. He was a huge crowd favorite at Safeco Field, with fans holding up K cards in The King’s Courtto mark his many strikeouts.

The two-time NL East champion Braves hold their first workout for pitchers and catchers on February 13.

Hernández Notches the Seattle Mariners’ First No History

He’s nicknamed “King Félix”… And Félix Hernández has just logged his latest crowning achievement…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan baseball star pitched the Seattle Mariners‘ first-ever perfect game and only the 23rd one in baseball history on Wednesday as he overpowered the Tampa Bay Rays in a dazzling 1-0 victory on Wednesday.

Félix Hernández

It was the third perfect game in baseball this season— the first time in MLB history that three perfect games have been notched in the same season. Hernández’s feat joins perfect games by Chicago’s Philip Humber against the Mariners in April and San Francisco‘s Matt Cain against Houston in June. More than half of all perfect games — 12 — have come in the past 25 seasons.

“I don’t have any words to explain this,” said Hernandez to the crowd, speaking on the field after the final out. “I’ve been working so hard to throw one and today is for you guys.”

Hernández is the second player born in Latin America to throw a perfect game. Dennis Martinez, born in Nicaragua, threw a perfect game in 1991. In fact, he’s only the second player born outside of the United States to throw a perfect game

With one out to go, Sean Rodriguez got ahead 2-0 in the count. After circling the mound, Hernandez came back with two straight breaking balls for strikes and ended perfection with a called third strike on his 113th pitch.

Félix Hernández

Hernandez (11-5) threw his arms up to the sky and was mobbed by teammates at the pitcher’s mound. He embraced catcher John Jaso for a few seconds and then shared hugs with the rest of his teammates.

“It was in my mind, the whole game, it was in my mind,” Hernandez said.

The right-hander had the Rays swinging over his sharp curve all afternoon, with Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena each striking out in the eighth chasing breaking balls.

With a fastball in the mid-90s mph and an effective change, Hernandez simply wasn’t hittable.