Yankee Star's Numbers Game

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Yankee Star's Numbers Game

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, the wily New York Yankees pitcher, is a magician on the mound. But here's the Cuban defector's neatest trick: he has convinced George Steinbrenner and Major League Baseball that he is just turning 30 (October 11 is his birthday).

In fact, El Duque has rolled back his odometer (and that of his valuable throwing arm) by four whole years.

According to this February 1997 divorce decree filed in Havana, Hernandez was actually born on October 11, 1965 (not 1969 as he now claims). A copy of the decree--and a certified English translation of the Cuban document--recently surfaced in connection with a child support case brought against Hernandez by his ex-wife Norma.

It seems El Duque understands that, in big-bucks baseball, age isn't just a number. (4 pages)