You are never too young or too old to become who you were destined to be as long as you keep working towards your goal and never lose the faith. Many of the celebrities in different industries always started showing their talents when young, but usually not many thought it is what would help them achieve world recognition. Look at the likes of Beyonce who began singing in church choirs and now has a combined net worth of $1.5 billion with her husband. All the same, we must start from somewhere and now that Felix Hernandez has gained popularity as one of the highest paid baseball players with a net worth of $90 million, let's take a look at his story from the beginning.
It runs in the family
Felix was born in Valencia, Venezuela in 1986 to a middle-class family that was determined to live a comfortable life by having everyone contribute to the family business. His father Felix Sr. had a trucking company that was the source of livelihood for the Hernandez family, but besides the spirit of hard work binding them, another thing glued the men together. Surprisingly or not, all the Hernandez men were good at hurling a baseball, and Felix Sr. was a great player back in the day.
The thing about talent is that once you know you have it, it becomes part of your life and everyone else sees it, even from afar. That is what happened with Felix Hernandez because he embraced the inherited gift and began playing. By the time he was 14, Felix could hurl a ball at a speed of 90 mph, and the word must have gotten around that there is a new kid to watch out for because then teams began scouting him. Felix was not aware that he was that good until when he was playing in the little league, he saw a bunch of faces he had never seen before and curiosity got the better of him. Felix was told that the men were scouts who had come to see him play and as with every teenager looking to impress, he knew this was his time to shine. While it is against the advice of experts to try harder because you are being watched, since chances of losing control then increase, Felix was one extraordinary young man.
Instead of his pitching becoming worse, the more he tried harder to impress the scouts, the better he became, and soon he was hurling the ball at 94 mph. Now that was too good not to pass on, so one of the scouts Luis Fuenmayor who was looking for talent for the Mariners informed Emilio Carrasquel and Pedro Avila immediately. The scouts for the Mariners wanted Felix to sign a pro contract, but he was ineligible. Felix Sr. on the other hand, having had the experience of being a baseball player himself was quick to advise his son against pitching too hard to be recognized by the scouts; he was afraid his son would have an arm injury and maybe lose out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Therefore for the next two years, Felix Hernandez went without pitching, until he turned 16.
Signing up with the Mariners
By now the Mariners were ready to pounce on the young man, and they immediately signed him up for $710,000 in the summer of 2002. The funny thing is that if Felix wanted, he would have gotten a lot more money as a signing bonus from other teams like New York Yankees, Astros and Atlanta Braves that were also interested in having him on their team. The heart wants what it wants, and Felix was settled on being with the Mariners; not just because his father had steered him towards them but also because his idol, Freddy Garcia, had been with the Astros but eventually was traded to the Mariners in exchange for Randy Johnson. That is the power of having someone to look up to; it can push you in the right direction.
In 2003, Felix joined minor league baseball and the following year he was named pitcher of the year. By the start of 2005, Felix was the number 1 baseball pitching prospect, and when he was through with his minor league baseball years, he had already earned the name "King Felix" given to him by U.S.S. Mariner blog. When Felix made his debut on major league baseball on August 4, 2005, he became the youngest pitcher after Jose Rijo in 1984, to be in the major leagues. Still being inspired by Freddy Garcia, Felix switched his uniform number from 59 to 34 to match that which Freddy had worn during his time with the Mariners. The player did not go without challenges in his health and had to take some time off to improve his shape. By the time he got back on the field, he not only threw the ball at 95.6 mph but in 2008 season, he made history by becoming the first American league pitcher since 1971 to hit a grand slam.
In 2010, Felix signed a five years contract with the Mariners worth $78 million. While that is a lot of money that most of us will only dream of ever having, Felix's worth kept going up because The Mariners extended his contract. He now has a seven-year deal worth $175 million that will run through 2019, and by then he will receive a total of $27, 857,142. His yearly base salary is on a rising trend since, in 2013, he earned $19 million with a signing bonus of $1.5 million. By the time his contract expires, the annual salary will have risen to $27 million while the signing bonus will be $857,142 as detailed out by Spotrac. Apart from making money from his salary, Felix has endorsements with some of the major brands. Matter of fact is he is one of the top five largest endorsement deals in pro baseball history since with his Pepsi contract; he makes at least $1 million. With other companies like 2KSports also willing to pay him to endorse their products, it is no surprise that Felix Hernandez net worth of $90 million will most likely go up in the coming years.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee