Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #83 GREGG JEFFERIES


NEVER LOOKED RIGHT IN CARDINAL RED.



HAD HIS CAREER SEASON IN '93.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • By the beginning of the 1993 season, Gregg Jefferies was looking like just another washed-out phenom. With his third team in three years, the Cardinals, he was quickly evolving into a journeyman. To his credit, he stopped his slide with his first All-Star season, setting career highs in average, homers, RBI and steals. And while he had one more All-Star season the following year, he ended up a middling player despite great potential.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Answering Mets teammates' criticism, Jefferies had a letter he wrote read on WFAN on May 24, 1991. That didn't play well in the Big Apple as he came off as an emotionally bruised Little Leaguer. After hitting only nine homers and driving in 62 that season, he was traded to the Royals in December as part of the #53 Bret Saberhagen deal.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In that '93 season, he hit .342 (third in the NL), 16 homers, drove in 83 and stole 46 bases (tied for fourth). He finished 11th in the NL MVP voting. 

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. The top pick of the Mets in the '85 draft, Jefferies was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year in '86 and '87.
  2. Jefferies faced a difficult time breaking in with the uber-talented Mets of the late '80s and was generally despised by the veterans who had no use for the fresh-faced darling of the player development department.
  3. That dislike grew when the team traded popular and scrappy second baseman Wally Backman in December '88 to open up a starting spot for Jefferies.
  4. Was third for NL Rookie of the Year in '89, hitting .258 with 12 homers, 56 RBI and 21 steals. 
  5. Signed as a free agent with the Phillies for the '95 season, where he spent the next four years averaging nine homers, 51 RBI and batting .287.

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