Former Reds Friday: Trevor Hoffman an Expansion Hall of Famer
It seems crazy looking back but when the 1992 expansion draft rolled around the Cincinnati Reds really did not have a need for another relief pitcher. So Jim Bowden in his infinite wisdom (note the scarsism) left then minor league pitcher and future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman unprotected for the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins to choose from.
The Reds were two years removed from the Nasty Boys trio of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers dominating opposing lineups and sweeping the Oakland A’s to win the 1990 World Series title. Myers was shipped to the San Diego Padres in favor of Bip Roberts, but Dibble and Charlton still presented a log jam in the Reds bullpin.
Hoffman was selected by the Florida Marlins with the eighth overall pick in the 1992 expansion draft. It explains the amazing posed 1993 Topps card of Hoffman in a Marlins uni with the beautiful teal background.
Hoffman, who is currently baseball’s all-time save leader with 577 saves, will likely become only the second Hall of Famer to be selected in an expansion draft. The only other player to hold this distention is pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, who was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 expansion draft near the end of his career.
Other notable expansion draft selections include Maury Wills, Lou Piniella, Don Zimmer, Ted Kluszewski, Gil Hodges and Bobby Abreu
Hoffman was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in 11th round of the 1989 amateur draft. He played shortstop and third base for the Reds’ Single-A affiliate Charleston Wheelers. Hoffman was converted to pitcher in 1991 at the suggestion of Charleston manager Jim Lett. In his first season on the mound, Hoffman threw a total of 47⅔ innings with a 1.89 ERA and 75 strikeouts at Single-A Cedar Rapids Reds and Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. He had reached the Reds’ top minor league affiliate the Nashville Sounds in his final season with the organization.
Midway through the 1993 season, Hoffman was traded to the San Diego Padres during San Diego’s infamous 1993 fire sale that sent slugger Gary Sheffield from San Diego to Florida.
Hoffman has gone on to become a seven time All-Staff , twice the National League’s Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award winner and holds the Major League record for most Pitching Appearances with one team. He appeared in 803 games for the Padres.