Perez was killed at his home in San Gregrorio de Nigua, reportedly for his $2,000 Major League Baseball pension check. He was terminally ill with liver and kidney problems and just 55 years old. He is survived by five children.
Foxsports.com reports that Perez was found with a severe head wound and his house had been ransacked.
''We were shocked to hear the news of Pascual Perez' death earlier today,'' Braves president John Schuerholz said in a statement. ''Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during the aftermath of this tragic event. Pascual left his mark with the Braves organization and will always be remembered fondly by Braves fans.''
No official cause of death has been released, though there have been reports that Perez was stabbed in the neck or shot.
“It’s a sad day,” former teammate Dale Murphy told ajc.com. “I’m glad to be able to have some good memories with Pascual. Fun memories. He was part of our best years in the early ’80s, and there was never a dull moment with Pascual.”
Perez began his 11-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was traded to Atlanta, where he pitched for the Braves from 1982-85. He also spent time with the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees, but Atlanta is where he had the most success in a career during which he compiled a 67-68 record.
In a career that saw him suspended twice for drugs and was ended by shoulder issues, Perez is best remembered for an incident in 1982, when he missed his first start as a Brave. He told then manager Joe Torre that he got lost on I-285 on the way to the stadium, eventually driving around for hours and running out of gas.
He would go on that year to help the Braves win the NL West title and was an All-Star in 1983, when he went 15-8. He also had a record of 14-8 in 1984.
Perez's career took a rocky turn during his success. In April 1984, he was suspended after being arrested in the Dominican Republic for cocaine possession. He also did a drug rehab stint in 1989 while with the Expos and was only able to avoid another suspension by agreeing to accept a one-year suspension if he ever tested positive again.
He did, in fact, test positive again in 1992, and he was suspended a day after he arrived at Spring Training for the New York Yankees. He was in the final year of a three-year, $5.7 million contract.
Braves 101 will provide additional details as they become available.
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