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Jeff Conine

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Jeffrey Guy Conine (Template:PronEng) (born June 27, 1966 in Tacoma, Washington) is a retired Major League Baseball first baseman/outfielder who played several years with the Florida Marlins. Previously, Conine played with the Kansas City Royals (1990, 1992, 1998), Florida Marlins (1993-1997, 2003-2005), Baltimore Orioles (1999-2003, 2006), Philadelphia Phillies (2006), Cincinnati Reds (2007), and New York Mets (2007). He batted and threw right-handed. He became well known as "Niner"[1] and "Mr. Marlin"[2] for his significant history as a Marlins player and ties to South Florida. He has also been called "The Barbarian"[2] by some of his fans of old (after "Conan the Barbarian"), and he likes this appellation.

Playing careerEdit

A graduate from UCLA, Conine started his major league career with the Kansas City Royals and was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 1993 expansion draft. After a second stint with Kansas City and five seasons with Baltimore, he returned to the Marlins in the 2003 midseason.

In 1994, Conine hit a career high .319 batting average with 18 home runs and 82 RBI, but his most productive season came in 1995, when he posted a career high 105 RBI with a .302 average and 25 home runs. That season, he was named the All-Star Game MVP after hitting a pinch-hit homer to win the game.

In 1996, Conine earned his second All-Star berth, and finished with 26 home runs, a career high, 95 RBI, and a .293 average.

One of the most versatile players in the sport, Conine has played seven of the nine possible defensive baseball positions in either college or the Major Leagues, all but shortstop and second base.

In his first stint with the Orioles, Conine hit at least .284 four times, with a high of .311 in 2001. In his second stint with the Marlins, he collected 193 RBI in 314 games.

In a 17-season career, Conine was a .285 hitter with 214 home runs and 1071 RBI in 2024 games.[3]

Conine has the distinction of being the only player to appear in the opener of the Marlins' inaugural season, the 1997 World Series Marlins' championship team, and the 2003 World Series Marlins' championship team.

While in his second stint with the Marlins, Conine was active in the South Florida community and was widely regarded as a crowd favorite. Conine even opened a high-end sports-themed restaurant in Hollywood, Florida called Conine's Clubhouse Grill.

He was signed by the Orioles to a one-year deal in the 2005 offseason. The Orioles wanted Conine to mentor younger players, as they looked to groom several minor league players for the big leagues.

On August 27, 2006, Conine was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.

On December 21, 2006, he was traded by the Phillies to the Reds for two minor league prospects, Bradley Key and Javon Moran.

On August 20, 2007, Conine was traded to the New York Mets for minor leaguers Sean Henry and Jose Castro.[1] Having won World Series titles with Florida in 1997 and 2003, and planning to retire after the 2007 season, Conine was delighted to spend the last months of his final season on a contending team. He was quoted as saying, "My initial thought is: 'First place.' I get to go back to another pennant race."[4] This was not to be when the Mets lost their final series to his former team, the Marlins and first place in the division, to the Phillies. On September 20, 2007, Conine announced that he was considering retirement before his final series in South Florida.[2]

On September 30, 2007, Conine played his last game, against the Marlins, when he came in as a replacement for an injured player.

On March 16, 2008, Conine agreed to a one-day contract with the Florida Marlins, which he signed on March 28. The Marlins had a tribute to Conine before their home opener on March 31.[5]

Post-careerEdit

After retiring from baseball, Conine began training to compete in triathlons. He planned to enter several events in 2008, leading up to the Ironman Triathlon in the fall. He explained, "It’s the most grueling test in sports, and for some odd reason that really appeals to me."[6]

Conine appeared as a color commentator on three Florida Marlins Fox Sports Net telecasts, September 19September 21, 2008, filling in for Tommy Hutton.[7] He currently works in the Marlins' front office as a special assistant to the team president, David Samson.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Conine and his wife Cindy are both world class racquetball players.[9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Matt Williams
National League Player of the Month
June, 1995
Succeeded by:
Dante Bichette
Preceded by:
Fred McGriff
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Most Valuable Player

1995
Succeeded by:
Mike Piazza

Template:1993 Florida Marlins Template:1997 Florida Marlins Template:2003 Florida Marlins Template:Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVPs

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