Born: Mar 7, 1968
After being traded by three clubs, Jeff Kent finally realized his potential in San Francisco. As a Giant he became one of the National League's most productive second basemen in history. He posted three straight 100-RBI campaigns, and joined Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby as the only second baseman ever to produce at least 120 RBIs in multiple seasons.
Kent started his career as one of the bright spots in the Toronto farm system, but he was traded with Ryan Thompson for David Cone late in his rookie season in 1992. After nearly five up-and-down seasons with the Mets, he was traded twice within a few months for Carlos Baerga (to Cleveland) and Matt Williams (to the Giants). He drove in 121 runs in his first season as a Giant, protecting Barry Bonds in the lineup and helping the club win a divison title. In 1998 Kent hit career peaks with a .297 average and 31 home runs. His 128 RBIs topped Hornsby's franchise mark for second basemen.
A year later Kent became San Francisco's first righthanded hitter with three straight 100-RBI years since Willie Mays did it from 1959 to 1966. Because he drove in five of those runs while playing first base, Kent just missed joining Charlie Gehringer and Bobby Doerr as the only second basemen in the 20th century with three straight years in triple digits. Kent had 96 RBIs while playing second in 1999.
Though slowed by toe and foot injuries in 1999, Kent produced a pair of 5-for-5 games - one of them while hitting for the cycle at Pittsburgh on May 3. Two months later he played in his first All-Star Game. Kent joined Mays, Willie McCovey, Mel Ott, and Barry Bonds as the only Giants with three straight 20-homer, 100-RBI years.
Kent joined the Astros as a free agent in 2003, belting a homer in his first at-bat for Houston. In 2004, he set the club record hitting streak at 25 games from May 14 to June 11, a stretch in which he collected 33 hits (15 for extra bases) and posted a .358 average, and was voted by the fans to the All-Star Game as the starting 2B. No one will forget his walkoff three-run homer that gave Houston a 3-0 victory over St. Louis in Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS. In two seasons with the Astros, Kent hit .293 with 49 homers and 200 RBIs. Kent left Houston after the 2004 season to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers for whom he played until his retirement after the 2008 season.