A strong-armed and gangly outfielder sporting raw power, Dye was promoted to the Atlanta Braves in May 1996 when David Justice dislocated his right shoulder. In his first at-bat, Dye proved his stroke was for real, socking a homer off short reliever Marcus Moore. After beating out Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith for the majority of starts as the third outfielder, he helped the Braves reach postseason that year, but batted just .179 over 15 games in October, as Atlanta lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
But 1999 proved to be Dye's coming out party. After Jeff Conine was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, a strong performance in spring training earned Dye the starting job in rightfield, and he responded by slugging six homers and driving in 20 through April. By the end of the year, the outfielder had exploded for 27 home runs and 119 RBIs, quickly losing his unofficial title as "the player traded for Michael Tucker," and he was placed in the cleanup spot behind the powerful Mike Sweeney.
Strongly considered for the Gold Glove Award behind his aggressive outfield play, Dye also set a new club record with 17 outfield assists. His anonymity since discarded by 2000, the multi-tooled Dye was seen as a player who could revive the lagging club, and with Sweeney, leadoff sparkplug Johnny Damon, and steady Joe Randa, the Royals were looking for a playoff berth. The outfielder aimed to please, hitting .321 with 33 dingers and 118 RBIs while becoming the first Royal to be named as a starter on the All-Star team since Bo Jackson. Though KC fell short in the wild card race at the end of the season, Dye brought home his first Gold Glove.
By late July 2001, the Royals were heading south. The loss of Damon in the offseason and the sluggish production from the rest of the team were reflected in Dye's subpar stats. With the trade deadline just a week away, Kansas City traded the outfielder in a three-way swap; Dye ended up on the Oakland Athletics, while the Royals acquired shortstop Neifi Perez from the Colorado Rockies. (AG)
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»July 4, 1999:
The Royals defeat the Indians, 10-9, as C Mike Sweeney ties an American League record by recording an RBI in his 13th straight game. Taffy Wright of the White Sox set the mark in 1941. The major league standard is 17 games, set by Oscar Grimes of the Chicago Cubs in 1922. OF Jermaine Dye brings home six of Kansas City's runs with four hits, including a pair of homers.
»April 9, 2000: The Twins defeat the Royals, 13-7. In the process, they become the 1st teams in history to each hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the same game. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones, and Matt LeCroy hit consecutive blasts for Minnesota in the 6th inning, followed by three in a row by Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye, and Mike Sweeney of Kansas City an inning later.
»October 14, 2001:
Yankee bats finally come alive as New York defeats Oakland, 9-2, to even their series at two games apiece. Orlando Hernandez gets the victory as he improves his postseason mark to 9-1. OF Bernie Williams drives home five runs to lead the Yankees. Oakland OF Jermaine Dye fractures his leg when he fouls a ball off his left shin. He will miss the rest of the postseason and the strt of spring training next year.
»October 4, 2002:
The A's hit four home runs and Barry Zito hurls the club to a 6–3 win over the Twins to give Oakland a two games to one lead in their division series. Ray Durham hits an inside–the–park homer to open the game and Scott Hatteberg follows with another round–tripper. Jermaine Dye and Terrence Long also homer for Oakland.