1997 vs 2003: First Baseman


Welcome to the second segment of 1997 vs 2003. Today we take a look at the two first baseman of the Florida Marlins World Champion teams, Jeff Conine and Derrick Lee.

Jeff Conine, also known around Miami as “Mr. Marlin”. Conine started his major league career with the Kansas City Royals and was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 1993 expansion draft. Conine is the only player that appeared on both World Series teams for the Marlins. Conine’s most productive season with the Marlins and of his career came in the 1995 season. That season also saw Conine winning the MVP of the All Star game.

Derrick Lee was originally drafted in the first round by the San Diego Padres in 2003. Lee made his major league debut as a San Diego Padre in 1997. The Marlins traded their ace Kevin Brown to the San Diego Padres for Rafael Medina and 1B Derrek Lee. Lee would then be a mainstay on the Marlins, until after the 2003 season. In the Marlins championship season, Lee garnered his first Gold Glove. Lee enjoyed a productive career with the Marlins, until he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Hee-seop Choi, Marlins fans can attest to how great that trade worked out for us.

Both of these players had a decently long tenure with the Marlins, and both have built up decent fan fair with the Marlins. Both Conine and Lee held very key roles on each of the Marlins championship teams. Let’s take a look at each players season statistically in those seasons.

Player PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA WAR
Jeff Conine 466 .242 .337 .405 .331 1.9
Derrick Lee 643 .271 .379 .508 .381 4.3

Unlike when we compared the two catchers of the Marlins world series teams, the statistics do not even say this was a close one. Lee had Conine beat in every single offensive statistic, as well as playing better defense. Jeff Conine’s case rests mostly on sentimental value. He was an important keg on both Marlins World Series teams. Marlins fans adore him and refer to him as “Mr. Marlin.” I would expect the Marlins to be retiring his jersey very soon.

The poll will be set up in the same format as last time. Please vote on who you think was the better Marlin World Series first baseman. Voting will extend until Sunday, December 11th. I will unveil the fans vote, along with the votes of the staff. I will then post the same about the Marlins second baseman next Tuesday.

Update: Marlins increase offer to Albert Pujols.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Derrick Lee Hee-seop Choi Jeff Conine Kansas City Royals Kevin Brown Miami Marlins San Diego Padres