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"We were shocked to hear the news of Pascual Perez' death earlier today," said Braves president John Schuerholz 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."
Perez pitched for Atlanta from 1982-85. He was 15-8 in 1983 and 14-8 in 1984.
The right-hander was first signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January 1976 as an amateur free agent, according to Baseball-Reference.com, an online sports information site.
His career was a rocky one.
In 1982, Perez helped Atlanta win the National League West title with a 4-4 record. But in August of that season he missed a start because, as he later explained, he missed a highway exit sign and spent almost two hours circling Atlanta Stadium.
While playing for the Braves, he was suspended in April 1984 following his arrest in January of that year in the Dominican Republic on charges of cocaine possession.
He spent two months in drug rehabilitation in 1989 while with the Expos, after failing to complete rehab programs twice before, and avoided a suspension only by agreeing to accept a minimum one-year suspension if he tested positive for cocaine again.
In March 1992, the commissioner's office suspended him after a failed test the day he arrived for spring training with the Yankees. At the time, he was entering the final season of a three-year, $5.7 million contract. He never returned to major league baseball.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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