He played from 1991 to 2003. Vaughn was a three-time All-Star selection and won the American League MVP award in 1995.
He played baseball for Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York. He then moved on to play baseball at Seton Hall for head coach Mike Sheppard. His teammates included seven-time All-Star Craig Biggio and Red Sox teammate John Valentin. Vaughn earned the Jack Kaiser Award as MVP of the 1987 Big East Conference Baseball Tournament while keying the Pirates championship run.
Vaughn became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. 75% of the vote was necessary for induction, and 5% was necessary to stay on the ballot. He received 1.1% of the vote and dropped off the ballot.
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It was revealed on December 13, 2007 in the report by Senator George J. Mitchell that Vaughn had purchased steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs from Kirk Radomski, who said he delivered the drugs to him personally. Radomski produced three checks, one for $2,200 and two more for $3,200, from Vaughn, one of the latter dated June 1, 2001, and another dated June 19, 2001. Radomski said that the higher checks were for two kits of HGH, while the lower one was for one and a half kits. Vaughn's name, address and telephone number were listed in an address book seized from Radomski's house by federal agents. Vaughn's trainer instructed him to take HGH in attempt to recover from injury.
Mitchell requested a meeting with Vaughn in order to provide Vaughn with the information about these allegations and to give him an opportunity to respond, but Vaughn never agreed to set a meeting.