Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #54 JEFF CONINE


CONINE THE MARLINIAN ...




... LOOKS LIKE A BERRY-PUNCH FREEZER POP. 



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Jeff Conine is forever the face of the Marlins, having been an integral part of the 1993 inaugural team, the first World Series title club in '97 and the second in '03. In a combined eight seasons, Mr. Marlin hit .290 with 120 homers, 553 RBI and a 114 OPS+. He played 17 seasons overall, but didn't have the same impact with any of his five other clubs.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • In the critical Game 5 of the '97 NLCS on Oct. 12 against the Braves, Conine came through under pressure. The series and game were tied when he dug in against #85 Greg Maddux in the bottom of the seventh. #66 Bobby Bonilla had led off the inning with a double and scored when Mr. Marlin singled up the middle on the first pitch. The lead held and the Marlins moved to within one game of their first World Series.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '95, he hit .302 with 25 homers and a career-high 105 RBI for the Marlins. He made his second consecutive All-Star team and was the game's MVP. He slugged an eighth-inning pinch-hit homer off Steve Ontiveros to give the NL a 3-2 victory. 

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Taken with the 22nd pick in the '92 Expansion Draft.
  2. Conine wasted little time establishing himself in Miami. In the franchise's first game in '93, he went 4-for-4 in the 6-3 victory over the Dodgers.
  3. Traded after the '97 season, but Conine was reacquired by the Marlins on Aug. 31, 2003. 
  4. The lucky rabbit's foot delivered again in the postseason. He batted .458 with a homer and three RBI in the NLCS against the Cubs and .333 against the Yankees in the World Series.
  5. Since retiring in '07, Conine became a triathlete and has competed in the Ironman.

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