Happy 46th birthday to former Padres outfielder, Bubba Trammell.
He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 11th round of the 1994 draft out of the University of Tennessee.
He would play just one season for the Tigers, his first in 1997. Then, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays came to be in 1998, they drafted Trammell from Detroit in their expansion draft before that season. He then played a solid two and a half seasons with Tampa Bay. He hit 12 home runs in 59 games in 1998 with a .286 batting average and a 130 OPS+. He put up similar numbers in 1999 at .290 and 125 respectively.
Then in 2000, he was traded to the Mets before the deadline. He played in only a handful of games for New York, but he did appear in the 2000 World Series in the “Subway Series” against the Yankees. He got seven plate appearances in that Fall Classic, including two hits and three RBI. He was dealt again after the 2000 season, this time to the San Diego Padres. In 2001, he played in 142 games for the Friars and quickly became a fan favorite out in right field (which was tough to do since this was the end of Tony Gwynn’s career patrolling that same position).
He set career-highs in numerous categories like home runs (25), hits (128), doubles (20), RBI (92), and runs scored (66). He regressed a bit in 2002, hitting just .243 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. His OPS+ was at 105, which was still above average. That was because he still put the ball in play and set a career-high in walks and on-base percentage.
The Padres struggled as a team during those two seasons and he was traded before the 2003 season to the New York Yankees for Rondell White. He played just one season for the Yankees, hitting .200 in just 22 games. He was later released soon after the season ended. He would never play in the big leagues again. The Rays gave him another shot in 2004 and he played for Triple-A Durham for 10 games. It didn’t last long and he was soon out of the game.
Now, Bubba cheers on his son, Brandon, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and will start his first season of baseball at Tennessee this spring. Bubba recently said Brandon has more tools than himself. Brandon could become a top MLB draft prospect in a few seasons.
Bubba is remembered most for his two solid seasons in San Diego, and his name is remembered fondly among Padres fans as a bright spot during those tough early 2000’s.