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10 Bullet Points About Jeff Conine

For a month, I didn't say anything about Jeff Conine announcing his retirement, which I should have. Niner gave us some good years and plenty to remember fondly. Like with B.J. Surhoff, most of my public record on the subject of Conine is pretty bash-y, not at all flattering, and not really indicative of how I really feel about the guy. B.J. Surhoff is, by all accounts, a hell of a nice human being, and he was a good ballplayer. Both can also be said for Jeff Conine.

I've already done a longer thing about Conine before, when I ranked him at No. 40 on my 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time list. So I'd like to reduce Jeff Conine now to 10 bullet points, because I can. I'm the wind, baby!

  • Conine is the only player to play for the Marlins in their inaugural season (1993) and their two World Series title seasons (1997, 2003).
  • He played for three different teams on at least two occasions: the Royals (1990, 1992, 1998), the Marlins (1993-1997, 2003-2005), and the O's (1999-2003, 2006).
  • Started as a pitcher at UCLA, where he was an economics major.
  • Conine was traded six times over his career, and three times between August 27, 2006 and August 20, 2007, going from the Orioles to the Phillies, then from the Phillies to the Reds, then from the Reds to the Mets.
  • His highest single-season salary was $4.25 million, in 2003.
  • He is ranked 22nd all-time in sacrifice flies, tied with Amos Otis, and one spot behind the trio of Surhoff, Gary Gaetti and Al Kaline. Top two: Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, Jr. (Other former Orioles in the top 25 are Rafael Palmeiro [8th], Don Baylor [11th], Brooks Robinson [12th], Joe Carter [17th], and Frank Robinson [24th]. Will Clark is tied for 26th.]
  • Made two All-Star games, in 1994 and 1995. He was named the MVP in 1995.
  • His best season was also 1995, when he hit .302/.379/.520 with 25 homers and 105 RBI in the shortened 144-game season.
  • Statistically, Conine's most comparable player was Wally Joyner, who was another guy that everyone forgets even existed, as will those that didn't experience Conine up close and personal. I mostly mention this so I can link this blog piece about Wally Joyner, which I've read a few times and can't quite piece together whether or not it's satire.
  • Final career line: .285/.347/.443, 214 HR, 1071 RBI. Not bad at all for a guy who did not have a single outstanding skill.

Happy trails, Niner. Thanks for everything.