As the story goes, the Reds asked the younger Hoffman to throw a few bullpens on the side to see if he could potentially make the move to pitcher.
Trevor Hoffman was, naturally, a little skeptical.
"He called me and I told him I thought it was a good thing," said Glenn Hoffman, now the third base coach for the Padres, then a player-coach for Triple-A Albuquerque in his final year of a 14-year professional career.
"I told him they must have seen something in him and that he should just do the best with it that he can. He took that to heart."
Did he ever.
On Saturday, the Padres inducted Hoffman into their Hall of Fame during a 20-minute ceremony at Petco Park. Prior to the Padres game against the Dodgers, family, friends and fans celebrated with Hoffman, who earned 552 of his 601 career saves in 16 seasons in San Diego.
Hoffman became the ninth member in the team's Hall of Fame, joining Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Dick Williams and Dave Winfield.
Statistics aside, the tenor of the ceremony focused more on Hoffman the man than Hoffman the closer.
"This is not about 600 saves, this is about integrity and character," said longtime broadcaster Ted Leitner, who emceed the ceremony.
There was a video tribute to Hoffman set to his famed entrance music -- Hells Bells -- and an unveiling of a mock-up of a plaque that will eventually go in the team's new Hall of Fame area at the ballpark.
Finally, Hoffman, flanked by his wife, Tracy, and their three sons, stood and spoke to the crowd.
"I feel like Hells Bells gave me a charge … I don't know about you guys," said Hoffman, who is currently the Padre organization's upper level pitching coordinator.
Afterwards, he met with reporters, and talked about his auspicious start in San Diego in 1993, the deal that brought him here -- the team traded Gary Sheffield away as part of their infamous 'fire sale' -- and what being a Padre means to him.
"There was a lot of pressure to prove myself," he said of his debut with the team. "It didn't go well the first couple of outings. But in time, I hoped the fans would appreciate the blue collar work ethic."
And, of course, they appreciated the saves -- so many saves. He led the league with 53 of them during that magical season in 1998 when they reached the World Series and then again in 2006 (46), as the team won the NL West.
His last season in San Diego was 2008. He played 2009-10 with the Brewers, earning save No. 600 with Milwaukee in 2010. He didn't start out as a Padre or finish his career as one, but for Hoffman, that's all he'll ever be -- and ever want to be known as.
"I appreciate being called a Padre," Hoffman said. "I enjoyed being referred to as a Padre. We have to continue to embrace that."