Milwaukee Brewers fans remember the 1990’s for one thing: futility. Even with 92 wins in 1992, they still managed to win only 47% of their games for the decade.
One of the few bright spots for the Milwaukee Brewers was left fielder Greg Vaughn. Before Prince Fielder or Richie Sexson were mashing mammoth home runs, there was Vaughn sending shots to “Vaughn’s Valley” into the left field bleachers.
Drafted in 1986, number four overall, Vaughn quickly made a name for himself in the Brewers system. In his first full season in the minors Vaughn showed off the prodigious power that would lead him to MLB, hitting 33 home runs.
His best season in Milwaukee was his breakout ’93 season. He had a .267/.369/.482 batting line, while mashing 30 home runs with 97 runs batted in. He also walked a career high 89 times that season, while making his first All-Star game that July.
In ’96, playing the final year of his contract for the Brewers, Vaughn went off. In 102 games, he had already surpassed his career high with 31 home runs. With a .280 batting average he was well on his way to a big payday that winter.
Knowing they couldn’t afford to pay him, the Milwaukee Brewers traded Vaughn to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline. In return, the Crew recieved a less than inspiring package of OF Marc Newfield, RP Ron Villone, and RP Bryce Florie.
In 903 games for the Brewers, Vaughn hit 169 home runs while driving in 566 runs. Never known as an on base machine, Vaughn was your classic boom or bust hitter for the Crew. He had a paltry .246 batting average with Milwaukee while striking out 761 times.
Although Vaughn will never be remembered in the same breath as Robin Yount or Ryan Braun, he is undeniably one of the best power hitters in franchise history. He currently sits eighth all-time in home runs in Milwaukee Brewers history, while ranking tenth all-time for runs batted in.
Vaughn was inducted into the Milwaukee Brewers Wall of Honor in 2014. He may have played for some pretty bad baseball teams, but Vaughn has earned his place among the Brewers greats.