Héctor Heredia Hinostroza (El Caballo)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.
- Born May 20, 1958 in Huatabampo, Sonora Mexico (US sources list a 1960 birthdate, Mexican sources 1958)
Héctor Heredia started off in 1981 with the Monterrey Sultans, going 2-3 with a save and a 2.81 ERA. In '82, the right-hander fell to 0-4, 4.42 with a save. He did not pitch in the minors in 1983. Returning in 1984, he went 3-7 with 13 saves and a 4.19 ERA for Monterrey.
The Los Angeles Dodgers decided to sign Hector. They sent him to the 1985 San Antonio Dodgers, where he allowed one run in 4 2/3 IP and went 1-0. Back with San Antonio in '86, he was 2-5 with two saves and a 3.29 ERA. Among pitchers with 10+ innings, only Shawn Hillegas had a lower ERA on the club. That earned him a promotion to the 1987 Albuquerque Dukes, where he was their second-most used pitcher (50 games) after Dennis Livingston (56). Heredia was 3-4 with four saves and a 4.22 ERA, better than team average. He did face control issues, walking 61 in 98 innings. He did not get called up to the big leagues (and never would appear in a game in The Show).
In 1988, Héctor was 4-1 with 11 saves and a 2.51 ERA for Albuquerque with much sharper control (23 walks in 71 2/3 IP). He was 6th in the 1988 Pacific Coast League in saves and would have led in ERA had he qualified. He again was not called up, with the 1988 Dodgers boasting an excellent bullpen of Jay Howell (2.08), Alejandro Pena (1.91), Brian Holton (1.70), Jesse Orosco (2.72) and Tim Crews (3.14). In the 1988-1989 Mexican Pacific League, Heredia was 7-7 with 12 saves and a 1.43 ERA for the Mayos de Navojoa, with 96 strikeouts in 82 innings. He pitched enough innings (despite just one start) to lead the league in ERA.
Heredia faded somewhat in 1989, going 2-3 with ten saves and a 3.96 ERA for the Dukes. In 1990, he moved to the Houston Astros chain and was 2-2 with three saves and a 5.27 ERA for the Tucson Toros to wrap up his US career. Returning to the Sultans after a six-year absence, Héctor went 8-3 with ten saves and a 2.34 ERA, walking only 16 in 88 1/3 innings. Had he qualified, he would have paced the Mexican League in ERA.
In '92, the Huatabampo native had a 10-6, 2.37 record with a career-high 24 saves in 54 outings of relief for the Sultans. Among hurlers with 75+ innings, he was 4th in ERA behind Mike Browning, Enrique Herrera and Mercedes Esquer. During the 1993 campaign, the veteran right-hander was 6-3 with 14 saves and a 3.33 ERA. In 1994, he went 13-5 with a 2.69 ERA while becoming a full-time starter for the first time ever. It was a pitcher-friendly season and he failed to crack the top 10 in ERA (missing by .14). That winter, he was 6-3 with a 2.25 ERA for the Navojoa Mayos, finishing third in the Mexican Pacific League in ERA behind Aaron Acosta and Ed Vosberg.
Héctor had a 9-9, 3.30 record for the 1995 Sultans then was 2-3 with a 2.08 ERA in the winter for Navojoa. He spent his 9th and last season with Monterrey in 1996, going 4-5 with a save and a 5.64 ERA, the highest in his 15 seasons to that point.
Switching to the Aguascalientes Railroadmen in 1997, Heredia was 7-7 with a 3.50 ERA. He faded to 6-14, 5.87 the next season. By 1999, he was with the Yucatan Lions. He turned in his last good year out of the bullpen, going 9-1 with 14 saves and a 2.78 ERA. He fell to 4-4, 3 Sv, 4.20 in 2000. He joined the Torreon Cotton Dealers for 2001 and went 2-3 with a save and a 3.70 ERA to wrap up his long career.
Hector made the news once more in 2010 when his 16-year-old son Luis was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates for over two million dollars. Heredia was not a factor in his son's life, though, as Hector had been born out of wedlock. He did not have any contact with Luis until December 2009, when the younger Heredia's earning potential became evident. While teams were scouting Luis Heredia, the New York Yankees tried to contact him through his father, oblivious to the poor relationship between the two.