Padres Special: 1998 National League Champion San Diego Padres Remembered

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Mandatory Credit: Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images

Left Field- Greg Vaughn

What an absolute beast Greg Vaughn was. The man just powered home runs over the fences with brute strength. His 50 home runs in a season is still a franchise record for the Padres.

That 1998 season where he slugged 50 homers has to go down as one of the best seasons in Padres history. Vaughn looked to be a rental for the 1996 season, but decided to resign in San Diego and it was a great decision for both Vaughn and the Padres.

Greg Vaughn was a first round pick (4th overall) in the 1986 amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He made his professional debut with the Brewers in August of 1989. He went on to play in 38 games that season hitting .265 and slugging 5 home runs while driving in 23 runs in 113 at bats. At the age of 24 in 1990, Vaughn was awarded the every day job in left field. He was a fixture in the Brewers lineup for the next eight seasons. His best year as a Brewer was 1993 when Vaughn hit 30 home runs and 97 RBI’s while batting .260.

At the age of 30 in 1996 Vaughn was in the midst of his 2nd All-Star season for the Brewers. The Brewers were not in playoff contention so Vaughn was deemed expendable in his contract year. On July, 31 1996 at the trade deadline the Milwaukee Brewers sent Greg Vaughn to the Padres for Marc Newfield, Bryce Florie and Ron Villone.

Mandatory Credit: Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images

At the time I was in cloud nine, not used to a Padres team being a bidder at the trade deadline. It was a great feeling, a feeling that the team was doing it’s best to win it all. Fans appreciate that, they appreciate it when the team goes for it all. It creates an excitement.

Vaughn was dealt on February 2nd, 1999 with Mark Sweeney to the Cincinnati Reds for Reggie Sanders, Josh Harris and Damian Jackson. It ended Vaughn’s three-year career as a Padre. He totaled 321 games in those three seasons, batting .245 with a .510 slugging percentage. He smacked 78 home runs and drove in 198 runs as a Padre with 22 stolen bases.

In 159 games for the Padres in 1998, Vaughn hit 50 home runs and drove in 119 runs. A .272/.363/.597 is what he produced that season. Nearly slugging .600 is a great accomplishment for the Padres left fielder. Vaughn’s son Cory Vaughn played baseball under Tony Gwynn at San Diego State University from 2008-2010. He was drafted by the Mets in the 4th round of the 2010 draft and is in their minor league system. Cory Vaughn got one major league at bat this spring for the Mets. He is currently scheduled to begin the season n triple-A Las Vegas where he hit .228 with 7 homers and 30 RBI’s in 197 at bats.

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