Former MLB star Roberto Alomar is no stranger to controversy. In 1996, he was suspended for spitting on umpire John Hirschbeck during a game. But he has been involved in an even bigger controversy since he retired from the majors — one that can put people’s health at risk.
These situations are putting a black eye on the legacy of Alomar, who enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in Major League Baseball. Here’s a look at Alomar’s career, and how messy his life has gotten post-baseball.
Roberto Alomar’s playing career
Alomar played 17 seasons in the majors for seven teams, with his longest tenure — five years — coming with the Blue Jays, but he had some of his best seasons with the Orioles from 1996-98.
In all, Alomar played in more than 2,300 games and hit .300 in 9,073 at-bats. He hit 210 home runs and had 1,134 RBIs. Those numbers aren’t too impressive given his lengthy career, but that’s because Alomar was more known for his defense than his offense.
He played most of his games at second base, playing 2,320 games at the position — which is third on the all-time list. He won 10 Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers, and he was a 12-time All-Star, winning the MVP for the 1998 game.
Roberto Alomar and the Hall of Fame
Based largely on his defensive abilities, Alomar was always thought to be a shoo-in to make it into the Hall of Fame. As ESPN reported, when he first became eligible for induction, though, he missed becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he fell eight votes shy of the required 75% to get inducted.
It is believed that the spitting incident hurt him in the voting, as it caused some writers to not vote for him. Alomar was disappointed for missing out that year and told Newsday that he was “real, real, real surprised” by not making it. “Sometimes you have to deal with the good and the bad,” he continued.
The vote went his way the following year, when Alomar vaulted from 73.7% of the vote to 90%, well above the threshold he needed to get elected. As a result, Alomar was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2011.
Alomar’s relationships with women have caused him problems since his playing career ended. In the years following his 2005 retirement, at least four women — including his then-estranged wife Maria Del Pilar Alomar, or Maripily — accused Alomar of having unprotected sex with them while knowing he was HIV-positive, a diagnosis that the former player flatly denies.
Maripily also pressed other charges against him, including that she had been the victim of domestic abuse on three separate occasions. That allowed her to get a temporary injunction for protection against Alomar.
She also alleged Alomar of pushing her and threatening her with a knife. More recently Alomar, a Puerto Rican native, made more positive news in 2017, as USA Today wrote about. In the wake of Hurricane Maria hitting the island, Alomar sent a message to President Trump calling for additional help for his homeland, appealing for the military to help clear the roads.
Life today and net worth
Alomar currently lives in Tampa and Toronto, and he works as a special adviser for the Blue Jays. In the front office role, Alomar supports the team’s efforts in baseball operations — including helping to provide instruction for the players — and the local community.
Alomar played in the generation before players regularly started getting the nine-figure mega contracts, but that doesn’t mean he’s hurting for money. He has an estimated net worth of $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference