Drafted: By the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 1987 amateur draft.
Major League Debut: April 3, 1989
Teams (by GP): Diamondbacks, Padres, Astros, Orioles, Giants - 1989-2007
Final Game: June 3, 2007
2× All-Star selection (1997, 2000)
2001 World Series champion with the Arizona Diamondbacks
5× Gold Glove Award winner (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004)
Although one of the all-time greatest baseball players ever to wear a Saluki uniform, Steve Finley's finest achievements in sports were recorded on the professional level. Finley, who was a first team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 1986 and 1987 and third team All-American in 1986, went on to win five Gold Gloves Awards in the Majors and he was voted to the All-Star team in 1997 and in 2000. The Paducah, Ky., native established himself as one of the stars after breaking into the Major Leagues early in the 1990s following a standout career at Southern Illinois in the mid-1980s. While at SIU (1984-87), the fleet center fielder scored more runs (175) than any other player in school history, played in the fourth-most games (206) and ranked third in doubles (41) and second in stolen bases (69). After being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1987 and spending a short period of time with that organization, he was traded to the Houston Astros in the early 1990s and enjoyed a sensational 1992 season during which time he was the National League's third-leading base stealer (44), was second in triples (13) and ranked seventh in hits (177). The overall performance enabled him to sign a five-year, multi-million dollar contract with the Astros. Houston traded him to the San Diego Padres in December 1994, and his career continued its steady climb. In 1995, Finley batted a career-high .297 and was third in the NL in runs (104) and triples (8), and fourth in stolen bases (36) and hits (167). Finley also won his first Gold Glove Award that year. After being named the MVP in the All-Stars Series between Japan and the United States (Tokyo, 1996), Finley came back and was second in the NL in runs scored (career-high of 126) and in doubles (45) during the 1996 season. He won his second Gold Glove Award and finished 10th in the 1996 MVP voting. In 1998, he led the Padres to the National League Championship and to their second World Series appearance in franchise history. The New York Yankees swept Finley's Padres that season, but his career finally reached its ultimate peak in 2001 when he led the Arizona Diamondbacks to the World Series Championship. In 2003, Finley led the league in triples (10), becoming the oldest player in Major League history to lead his league in triples. Finley, who played his final Major League game with the Colorado Rockies in 2007, held a .271 career batting average through 19 Major League seasons and he finished his career with 2,548 hits, 304 home runs and 1,167 RBIs.