Miami Marlins Mount Rushmore

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Flowers, a hat and the number of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is shown on the pitching mound at Marlins Park on September 25, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Fernandez died in a boating accident. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Flowers, a hat and the number of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is shown on the pitching mound at Marlins Park on September 25, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Fernandez died in a boating accident. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Conine (1993-1997, 2003-2005)

Jeff Conine can thank expansion for finally getting his chance to stick in the majors. Once there, he did not leave.

Taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft, Conine made an immediate impact with the Marlins. Although he was already 27 years old, and had only 37 major league games before 1993, he literally did not leave the lineup. Playing in every game that season, he posted a solid .292/.351/.403 batting line, hitting 12 homers as he finished third in the Rookie of the Year vote.

From that point, Conine established himself as a solid presence in the Marlins lineup. Although he was never seriously considered for the MVP award, he became the heart of the team. A two time All Star, Conine produced a .290/.358/.455 batting line, hitting 120 homers and 180 doubles. His time with the Marlins also coincided with their two World Series victories, as he left after their first title, and was reacquired for the stretch run for the second.

Even though Conine is a Marlins legend, his time with the team has come to a rather ignoble end. As part of Derek Jeter’s shakeup of the front office, Conine was one of four advisors that were asked to take a substantial pay cut. When they refused, they were let go, their standing with the franchise irrelevant to their future.

Even though his time with the franchise may be at an end, Jeff Conine was a key figure in Marlins history. At some point, his number may be the next one to be retired.