This Day in History: Padres Acquire Gary Sheffield


On March 27th, 1992 the San Diego Padres struck a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers right before the season started. The Friars sent Ricky Bones, Jose Valentin and Matt Mieske to Milwaukee for slugger Gary Sheffield.

He was the sixth overall pick of the 1986 draft by the Brewers. He made his major league debut at age 19 in 1988. He had shown signs of being a good hitter before coming to San Diego, but the numbers were not quite there yet. In his first 294 games in the majors, all with the Brewers, he hit .259 with just 21 home runs.

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Then he came to San Diego. He ended up winning the batting title that year with a .330 average. Among the great hitters he beat out that year was his teammate, Tony Gwynn, who hit .317.

His great season didn’t end there. He also blasted 33 home runs – more than three times his previous career high – with 100 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 184 hits. He was named to his first All-Star team that season as well. He finished third in the MVP voting and was awarded the Silver Slugger award.

That was only the beginning of a 22-year illustrious career.

He kick-started his great career with the Padres and played another half of a season with San Diego before getting dealt to the new franchise Florida Marlins; that deal brought a certain infielder-converted pitcher named Trevor Hoffman to San Diego.

Before Sheffield left, he hit .295 with 10 home runs in 68 games. He finished that season with 20 home runs.

He ended up playing for the Marlins for six seasons and also went on to play for the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers and Mets.

He and his shifty batting stance hit 509 home runs, which is 25th all-time. His best season overall was in 1996 with the Marlins. He hit 42 home runs, with 120 RBI and a .314 average. He also led the league with a .465 on-base percentage.

Sheffield finished his career with a .292 batting average. He was apart of the 1997 Florida Marlins World Series championship team. He made the playoffs six of his 22 years in the league. Another thing Sheffield was good at, drawing walks. He finished 21st all-time with 1,475 walks and four times surpassed 100 walks in a season. He reached the 40 home run plateau twice in his career and hit at least 30 home runs eight times. With 2,689 hits, 1,636 runs scored and nine All-Star selections, many think Sheffield deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He first appeared on the ballot this year and received just 11.7% of the vote.

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