A fearless leadoff hitter and slick fielder, Vina came to the St. Louis Cardinals and set the table for an offense that won the NL Central Division in 2000. Vina crowded the plate so he could slap the ball to all fields, but suffered the consequences, having been hit by more pitches than anyone else in 2000.
After putting in time as a utility infielder for the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets, Vina found regular playing time with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995. In 1998 he had a breakout year at the plate, batting .311 in 159 games, prompting trade rumors that hovered over him for nearly a year.
Looking for stability at second base and a leadoff hitter, the Cardinals acquired him before the 2000 season for Juan Acevedo and a pair of bush leaguers. His complete lack of home run power was compensated by a healthy on-base percentage and one, good speed, and of the best gloves in the majors.