Sunday, February 2, 2014

On this day in Reds history: Cincinnati acquires slugger Greg Vaughn

February 2nd, 1999 - On the heels of a 77-85 season and 4th-place finish in the division, the Reds unload outfielder Reggie Sanders, utility man Damian Jackson, and minor league pitcher Josh Harris to San Diego in exchange for slugger Greg Vaughn and first basemen Mark Sweeney.

The acquisition of Vaughn proved to be a catalyst in propelling the team to a 96-67 record in '99 -- just shy of a postseason berth after losing a one-game playoff to the Mets for the NL Wild Card.

The four-time All-Star provided the club with the clean-up hitter and clubhouse leader they so desperately needed at the time of his arrival. Vaughn clubbed his way to 45 homers (3rd in NL), a team-high 118 RBIs, 104 runs scored and a .347 OBP on his way to a 4th-place finish in the league MVP voting.

His stay in the Queen City would be short-lived, however, as he signed as a free agent with the upstart Tampa Bay Rays during the following offseason. The former Miami Hurricane would play in the majors for four more years after his time in Cincinnati before retiring at the conclusion of the 2003 season.

To this day, Vaughn still holds the distinction of being one of only five players in Reds history to hit 45 or more longballs in a single season (Johnny BenchAdam DunnTed Kluszewski, and George Foster).

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