Milwaukee Brewers fans didn’t have a whole lot to cheer for in the early 90’s, but one player who quickly became a fan favorite was outfielder Greg Vaughn.
Drafted by Milwaukee with the fourth overall pick in the first round in 1986, Vaughn excelled from the get-go, hitting .291 and blasting 16 home runs in 66 games with Helena after signing with the Brewers following the draft.
He moved up to Low-A Beloit the following season and enjoyed his finest minor league season, hitting .305 and belting 33 home runs in 139 Midwest League contests. Vaughn scored a whopping 120 runs while knocking in 105, impressing enough to skip over High-A altogether and earning a promotion to Double-A El Paso in 1988.
Vaughn continued his impressive minor league career in ’88, putting up similar numbers, batting .301 with 28 home runs and again knocking in 105 runs in 131 Texas League contests with the Diablos.
He began 1989 at Triple-A Denver where he appeared in 110 games for the Zephyrs, hitting .276 with 28 home runs before earning a call to Milwaukee late in the season.
Vaughn made his major league debut with Milwaukee in August of 1989, appearing in 38 games and hitting .265 with five home runs. He opened 1990 as the Brewers starting left fielder, a spot that would remain his home for the next seven seasons. An All-Star in both 1993 and 1996, Vaughn managed 169 home runs in eight seasons with the Brewers, garnering his own fan club in the left field bleachers of County Stadium which came to be known as Vaughn’s Valley.
With the Brewers looking to get younger, Vaughn was traded to San Diego at the trade deadline in 1996 in exchange for outfielder Marc Newfield and pitchers Bryce Florie and Ron Villone.
Vaughn went on to play seven more seasons in the major leagues with the Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Colorado Rockies. He made the All-Star game twice more, in 1998 and 2001 and earned a Silver Slugger Award in 1998. In his 15 year big league career, Vaughn amassed 355 home runs and knocked in 1072 runs.