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Austin Kearns

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2003 Topps Heritage #84 Austin Kearns

Austin Ryan Kearns

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Austin Kearns was the first member of the Cincinnati Reds to hit a home run at Great American Ballpark. He won the Chief Bender Award winner in 2000 as the Reds organization's Minor League Player of the Year. In 2002, he finished first in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage among NL rookies. In April, 2003, he tied the Reds record for most home runs in the first month of the season with 9. He had a 32 game streak in which he reached base that year, the most for the Reds since Dante Bichette in 2000. In that same year, he reached base in 68 of the 82 games he played and during a 15 day stretch in May, he drove in 23 RBI.

Kearns was the top hitter for the US Junior team in 1997, hitting .478 and slugging .910. He hit .615 to lead the round-robin phase of the 1997 World Junior Championship, in which the US won Bronze. Joan Carlos Pedroso of Cuba beat him out for All-Tournament honors at 1B.

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