Ken Caminiti

Caminiti struggled with substance abuse throughout his career. He admitted in 1994 to having a problem with alcohol and checked himself into a rehabilitation center in 2000. In a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2002, a year after his retirement, he admitted that he had used steroids during his 1996 MVP season, and for several seasons afterwards. His admitted steroid abuse was discussed in the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid abuse in baseball.
Caminiti also had a long struggle with cocaine, having been arrested in March 2001 for possession and sentenced to probation. While on probation for cocaine possession he tested positive for cocaine, a Houston judge ordered Caminiti to visit a Texas Department of Criminal Justice-operated treatment program in February 2003. In May the program was eliminated, so he was forced to leave. Caminiti completed most of the program.
On October 5, 2004 — just five days prior to his death — he admitted in a Houston court that he had violated his probation. He tested positive for cocaine in September 2004. It was his fourth such violation and he was sentenced to 180 days in prison but given credit for time already served and released.
Death
In the early afternoon, Caminiti was in the apartment of his friend in New York City, after being in the bathroom to have a speedball of cocaine and heroin, Caminiti came out of the bathroom and collapsed on the floor. At 3:36pm a 911 call was made while Caminiti was going in to a cardiac arrest. Caminiti died at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx on October 10, 2004. Preliminary news reports indicated he died of a heart attack, but the autopsy results stated that “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine and opiates” caused his death, with coronary artery disease and cardiac hypertrophy (an enlarged heart) as contributing factors. Media coverage of Caminiti’s death was almost completely overshadowed by that of actor Christopher Reeve, who also died in New York City and within a day of Caminiti.
After final funeral services held in Solana Beach, California (a San Diego suburb), which was attended by many Padres players, past and present, Caminiti’s remains were cremated and were interred at the Cambo Ranch in Sabinal, Texas, which Caminiti co-owned along with former teammate Craig Biggio.

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