Former Padre Ken Caminiti dies of heart attack

Ken Caminiti, who returned to baseball during spring training to serve as an instructor for the San Diego Padres, died Sunday. He was 41.

Caminiti will br remembered by most Padres fans for his 1986 MVP season with the club. He was a unanimous pick for MVP and led the Padres to a division title.

He was a three-time All-Star and played in the Majors for 15 years. The third baseman retired in 2001.

In May 2002, Caminiti told Sports Illustrated that he used steroids during his MVP season, when he hit a career-high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. He estimated half the players in the big leagues were also using them.

When he returned to baseball this spring, he had to answer questions regarding steroids and it was just last month that he admitted that he tested positive for cocaine.

John Moores issued the following statement:

Becky and I are grief-stricken at the premature death of one of the bravest athletes that we have known. We admired Ken tremendously and remained optimistic that he would conquer the personal challenges that he was dealing with during the past several years. Though we lost a dear friend today, we are thankful that we were able to watch one of baseball's consummate craftsmen at work. Ken's immense talent was driven by a tremendous work ethic and an insurmountable passion for the game. He will be deeply missed by the entire Padres' organization.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Nancy, his children and the entire Caminiti family.

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