Billy Wagner

William Edward Wagner (born July 25, 1971 in Marion, Virginia), nicknamed "Billy the Kid", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He pitched for the Houston Astros (1995–2003), Philadelphia Phillies (2004–2005), New York Mets (2006–2009), Boston Red Sox (2009), and Atlanta Braves (2010). Wagner is one of only six major league relief pitchers to accumulate at least 400 career saves. A left-handed batter and thrower, Wagner stands 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighs 180 pounds (82 kg).

A natural-born right-hander, Wagner learned to throw left-handed after fracturing his arm twice in his youth in Marion. His 11.9 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched ratio (K/9) is the highest of any major league pitcher with at least 800 innings pitched. He was a seven-time All-Star and the 1999 National League (NL) Rolaids Relief Man Award winner. He finished in the top ten in saves in the NL ten times, and in the top ten in games finished nine times.

Billy Wagner
Billy Wagner Pitching crop
Wagner pitching for the Mets in 2007
Pitcher
Born: July 25, 1971 (age 48)
Marion, Virginia
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 13, 1995, for the Houston Astros
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2010, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record47–40
Earned run average2.31
Strikeouts1,196
Saves422
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Wagner was born to 18-year-old Yvonne and 20-year-old William "Hotsey" Wagner in Marion, Virginia on July 25, 1971. Wagner's parents divorced in 1976 when he was five years old. Wagner and his younger sister, Chasity, spent the following ten years living variously with combinations of their parents, their stepparents and their grandparents in the general Marion area. During this time, Wagner and his family often relied on food stamps.[1] Wagner described a typical breakfast as a "few crackers with peanut butter and a glass of water."[2]

At seven years old, Wagner's right arm was broken while playing football. Shortly after having the cast removed, he broke the arm again. During this time, Wagner, a natural right-hander, began throwing a baseball left-handed.[2]

At 14 years old, Wagner moved in with his aunt, uncle and cousins, who lived in the Tannersville/ Tazewell area about 25 miles away from Marion. Despite having fallen behind a year in school due to the instability in his home life, Wagner was socially promoted to Tazewell High School because administrators feared he threw hard enough to injure his middle school classmates.[1]

Career

Amateur career

Wagner graduated from Tazewell High School in Tazewell, Virginia, compiling a .451 batting average, 23 stolen bases, 29 runs batted in, 116 strikeouts in 46 innings, a 7-1 pitching record and a 1.52 ERA in his senior season of baseball.[3] As a senior in high school, Wagner grew to only 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall and 135 pounds (61 kg)[2] and, as a result, could not get attention from Major League Baseball scouts or Division I schools.[1]

Wagner chose to follow his cousin to Ferrum College, a small liberal arts college in Ferrum, Virginia, where they both played baseball and football. Coaches at Ferrum encouraged Wagner to focus on baseball and he would eventually take their advice and stop playing football.[1]

Wagner set single-season NCAA records for strikeouts per nine innings, with 19⅓ in 1992, and fewest hits allowed per nine innings, with 1.88.[4]

In 2012, Wagner was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Houston Astros

Minor leagues and early major league career: 1993−97

Wagner was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft in June 1993 by the Houston Astros. He pitched exclusively as a starting pitcher in Minor League Baseball for the Quad Cities River Bandits, until his major league debut. In 1994, Wagner led all North American minor league pitchers in strikeouts, with 204.[5] Wagner made his first Major League appearance with the Astros, as a late-season promotion from AAA baseball, on September 13, 1995, pitching against one batter late in a 10–5 defeat by the New York Mets. This was his only opportunity to pitch for the Astros that season.

Wagner began in 1996, once again in the minor leagues as a starting pitcher, but he finished the season by becoming a relief pitcher for the Astros. He accumulated a 6–2 record with a 3.28 ERA, in twelve starts for the AAA Tucson Toros. His baseball contract was purchased by the Astros on June 2, 1996, and Wagner was then assigned exclusively as a short-relief pitcher by the Astros manager. He finished the Major League season with nine saves in 13 opportunities, allowed 28 hits, and he struck out 67 hitters in 51⅔ innings – giving him a rate of 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. His opponents had a batting average of .165 against him.

In 1997, Wagner played his first full season in the Major Leagues. He accumulated 23 saves from 29 save opportunities, and he struck out 106 batters in 66⅓ innings. This set a Major League record of 14.4 strikeouts per nine innings, which broke the old record of 14.1 set by the former Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Rob Dibble in 1992 (with 110 strikeouts in 70⅓ innings).

Wagner struck out the side 13 times in his 66 innings pitched, and his season total of 106 strikeouts set a Houston Astros record for relief pitchers.

1998−99

In 1998, Wagner posted a 4–3 record with a 2.70 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched. He saved 30 games, which was the third-best single season in team history. He converted 19 consecutive save chances between his first blown save against the Los Angeles Dodgers, on April 12, and then his second one facing the St. Louis Cardinals on July 11.

On July 15, 1998, while protecting an 8–7 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was struck by a batted ball on the left side of his head behind his ear. Wagner was alert and conscious on the ground, and his vital signs remained good. He was carried off the baseball diamond on a stretcher, and it was found that he had suffered a concussion. He spent the night in the hospital. On the next day, he flew home to Houston, and he was also immediately placed on baseball's 15-day disabled list. Wagner worked on his balance and coordination for weeks before he was cleared by the team physicians to embark on a rehabilitation assignment with a minor-league team. After pitching there in three games, Wagner was recalled to the Astros on August 6, and he completed the rest of the baseball season there without incident. The Astros won a franchise-best 102 games while winning the National League Central division title and leading the league in runs scored. Their season ended by defeat to the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series (NLDS).[6]

Wagner captured the 1999 Relief Man of the Year Award in the National League. He saved 39 games and struck out 124 in 74 innings (15 SO/9). Wagner posted a 4–1 record with an ERA of 1.57, and had more saves than hits allowed (in 74⅔ innings, he allowed 35 hits).

2000−03

The 2000 season started off in typical fashion for Wagner, who saved three of the Astros' first four wins while retiring 16 of the first 20 batters he faced. However, after recording a save on May 4 against the Chicago Cubs, he suffered back-to-back blown saves on May 12–13 against the Reds. While he was still occasionally throwing 100 m.p.h. as measured by radar, he wasn't throwing his slider at 85 to 90 m.p.h. as often as he had been previously. Wagner continued to struggle before going on the disabled list with a torn flexor tendon in his pitching arm and would miss the final three and a half months of the season. He finished with 2–4 record, a 6.18 ERA, and six saves in 15 opportunities, striking out 28 and walking 18 in 27⅔ innings. He would rebound in 2001. Coming off elbow surgery, he posted a record of 2–5 with 39 saves in 41 chances, and an ERA of 2.73. He was one of the leading candidates for TSN Comeback Player of the Year in the National League. In 62⅔ innings, he struck out 79 hitters.

In 2002, Wagner went 4–2 with a 2.52 ERA, 88 strikeouts, and 35 saves in 75 innings. Then, he enjoyed his best season in 2003, when he reached career-highs in saves (44), innings pitched (86) and games (78), and got 105 strikeouts while leading the league in games finished. In that year, he also cemented his status as the hardest-throwing man in baseball by leading the major leagues with 159 pitches at 100 mph or above. Second on the list was starter Bartolo Colón with 12.

On June 11, 2003, Wagner closed out a no-hitter thrown by a record six pitchers against the New York Yankees.[7]

Following the World Series, Wagner criticized the Astros front office for not building a playoff worthy team. On November 3, Billy Wagner was informed that he had been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.[8]

Philadelphia Phillies

Billy wagner motion 2004
Wagner's pitching motion.

Wagner was traded to Philadelphia before the 2004 season, only to have his season shortened by a strain in his hand. He had the best ERA of his career in 2005 and again led the league in games finished. Wagner became a free agent after the 2005 season and signed a four-year, $43 million contract and a one-year club option with the New York Mets.[9]

In a May 7, 2006 interview, Wagner stated that he was confronted by all of his former Phillies teammates in September 2005 after Wagner criticized their performance in the media by repeatedly saying that the Phillies had "no chance" of making the playoffs, with Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell reportedly calling Wagner a "rat." The confrontation reportedly was one of several factors that drove Wagner from Philadelphia in the 2005–2006 offseason.[10]

New York Mets

Wagner finished 2006 with 40 saves and a 2.24 ERA and recorded his milestone 300th career save. His performance contributed to the New York Mets first division championship in 18 years. However, Wagner did not have a hot post-season performance: he recorded three saves, but he lost one game and allowed six runs in the 5⅔ innings that he pitched – an ERA of 10.40.

BillyWagner
Wagner in spring 2007.

Wagner had a good first half of the season in 2007. He was successful in 17 out of 18 save chances, and his ERA was 1.94. July was his best month, when he recorded eight saves in eight chances; did not allow a run scored; and he won the D.H.L. "Delivery Man of the Month" Award. During this month, Wagner's ERA was 0.00, he gave up two hits, and he pitched enough innings to be equivalent to a complete game pitched. His performance in 2007 was earned him a slot on the National League All-Star Team.

The second half of Wagner's baseball season was not nearly as successful. He converted 13 out of 17 save chances, and his ERA was 3.90. Wagner's pitching performance declined during the final two months of the season. On August 30, Wagner failed to save the crucial fourth game of a four-game series between the Phillies and Mets. The final result was four game sweep by the Phillies in this series. This sweep turned out to be the difference in the season: the Mets finished one game behind the Phillies at the end of the regular season. One more win against the Phillies would have allowed the Mets to win the division that year.

Wagner had an ERA of 6.23 in August of that season, and he suffered from back spasms during September.

On May 15, 2008, Wagner issued a tirade full of profanity against his teammates and coaches following the Mets' 1–0 loss in a game against the Washington Nationals. Some people have speculated that this was directed in particular toward his teammates Carlos Beltrán and Carlos Delgado about their not being available for interviews with the press following games. However, Wagner's pitching performance in April, May, and June was good enough to find him chosen by the All-Star Game's National League manager for his pitching staff.

During this All-Star Game, Wagner, pitching late in the game, surrendered a game-tying double to the American league's third baseman, Evan Longoria, and then the National League lost the ballgame in 15 innings.

In September 2008, the Mets announced that Wagner had torn the ulnar collateral ligament of his left elbow and also his flexor pronator tendon. These injuries required Tommy John surgery. This surgery, and its recovery, put Wagner out of play for a calendar year.[11]

Wagner had a guaranteed-payment baseball contract, and he was paid a total of $10.5 million by the Mets in 2009. For the baseball year 2010, his contract gave the Mets an option to pay him $8.0 million for the season, or else to pay him a $1.0 million to terminate the contract.[12]

In the news conference following the announcement of his major elbow injury, Wagner vowed that he would return to playing Major League Baseball. Although he had previously stated that he would not pitch anymore following 2009, Wagner amended this by saying that he did not wish to end his baseball career in this fashion – ending it on a major injury. He also said that he had dreams of winning a World Series, and also of reaching a total of about 420 saves in his career.[13]

However, Wagner stated furthermore that he had "played his last [baseball] game as a Met". Wagner explained that it would not make good business sense for the Mets to guarantee him $8.0 million for 2009, pitching or not pitching.[14]

Despite these statements, Wagner remained on the Mets' 40-man roster on the disabled list at the beginning of the season in 2009, and still drawing his salary. He pitched for the first time in 2009 for the Mets late in the season on August 20, in a game against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched one inning with two strikeouts and giving up no hits or walks.

Boston Red Sox

Billy Wagner on September 15, 2009
Wagner during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox in 2009.

On August 21, 2009, it was reported that the Boston Red Sox claimed Wagner off waivers from the Mets.[15] After initial reports suggested Wagner would invoke his no-trade clause to veto a trade, he agreed to be traded on August 25 for Chris Carter and Eddie Lora, with the added stipulation that the Red Sox could not exercise his $8 million option for 2010, but could offer him salary arbitration.[16] The Red Sox did offer Wagner arbitration, but he declined[17] so the Red Sox received the first-round draft pick from the team that signed Wagner (Atlanta Braves) and a sandwich pick in the 2010 rookie draft.

Atlanta Braves

On December 2, 2009, Wagner and the Atlanta Braves agreed on a one-year contract worth $7 million that included a $6.5 million vesting option for the 2011 season.[18] On April 30, 2010, Wagner revealed that he would retire at the end of the 2010 season to spend more time with his family.[19] In a game against the Detroit Tigers on June 25, Wagner achieved his 400th career save. After the game, he told reporters that he still planned to retire after the 2010 season.[20] On July 11, Wagner was selected as an injury replacement to the 2010 National League All Star roster, which he declined due to an ankle injury.[21]

He played his final regular season game on October 3, 2010, and struck out the final four batters he faced – the last three of whom struck out looking.[22] He concluded his final major league regular season with a career-best 1.43 ERA.[23] Wagner made his final major league appearance on October 8 in Game 2 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. Wagner suffered an injury to his left oblique and left the game after facing just two batters. The Braves eventually lost the series before Wagner could recover.[24]

Post-playing career

Wagner retired to Crozet, Virginia, following the 2010 season.[23]

On February 12, 2011, Wagner reiterated his intention to retire, stating, "I’m totally content with not playing baseball," Wagner said. "I love watching it, I love talking about it. If I miss anything, it would be some of the guys I played with and actually competing on the field, but other than that, you can keep it."[25]

On March 30, 2011, the Braves officially released Wagner.[26] Billy Wagner is currently the Baseball Coach for The Miller School of Albemarle in Virginia. He coached against his high school alma mater and his own high school coach on April 6, 2013.[27] The Mavericks won the 2017 and 2018 Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II championship.

Accomplishments

Of all pitchers with at least 800 innings pitched, Wagner's 11.9 K/9 and 33.2% strikeout rate total batters faced are both the highest in major league history.[23]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Bamberger, Michael (September 20, 1999). "Astro Physics: Houston closer Billy Wagner's rural upbringing". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Jaffe, Jay (December 19, 2017). "Evaluating the dominant Billy Wagner's Hall of Fame case". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Krider, Dave (May 2, 2013). "Billy Wagner returns home to coach son's high school team, run charity". MaxPreps. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Metzinger, Fritz (June 27, 2013). "Former MLB closer Wagner savors new challenge as Miller baseball coach". The Daily Progress. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "1994 register pitching leaders, sorted by strikeouts". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Swydan, Paul (May 17, 2013). "The 1998 Astros were pretty good at hitting". Fangraphs. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Lilly, Brandon (June 12, 2003). "Astros seem a bit baffled by their odd no-hitter". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "Fireballer traded for Duckworth, two others". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 3, 2003. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Noble, Marty (November 28, 2005). "Wagner introduced at Shea". MLB.com. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  10. ^ "Wagner has no regrets over comments". May 9, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  11. ^ "Mets' Wagner to Have Elbow Surgery, Is Out for 2009". Bloomberg. September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  12. ^ Blum, Ronald (September 9, 2008). "Mets' Billy Wagner will be out through 2009 season". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  13. ^ Noble, Marty (September 9, 2008). "Wagner vows to pitch again in Majors". MLB.com. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  14. ^ Puma, MIke (September 12, 2008). "Wagner: I've played my last game with the Mets". Fox Sports via the New York Post. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  15. ^ Olney, Buster. "Source: Mets have 4 days to make deal". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  16. ^ "Mets to get two players for Wagner". ESPN. August 26, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  17. ^ Benjamin, Amalie (December 3, 2009). "Wagner gets 7m from braves". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010.
  18. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 2, 2009). "Braves get a new closer in Wagner". MLB.com. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  19. ^ Mark Bowman (April 30, 2010). "Wagner says he'll retire after '10". Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  20. ^ Mark Bowman (June 26, 2010). "Wagner closes out No. 400 with heat". mlb.com. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  21. ^ O'Brien, David (July 11, 2010). "Wagner declines All-Star invite, opts to rest ankle". AJC.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  22. ^ "October 3, 2010 Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Play by Play and Box Score - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Jaffe, Jay (December 19, 2017). "Billy Wagner's dominance gives him a surprisingly strong Hall of Fame case". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Atlanta Braves' Billy Wagner hurts left side, leaves Game 2 vs. San Francisco Giants". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  25. ^ "NewsAdvance.com". NewsAdvance.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  26. ^ Canadian Press article
  27. ^ BDT

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kevin Millwood
No-hit game
June 11, 2003
(with Oswalt, Munro, Saarloos, Lidge & Dotel)
Succeeded by
Randy Johnson
Preceded by
Ryan Madson
Steve Carlton Most Valuable Pitcher
2005
Succeeded by
Tom Gordon
1993 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 1993 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.

1993 Major League Baseball draft

The 1993 Major League Baseball draft began with first round selections on June 3, 1993. Alex Rodriguez was selected first overall by the Seattle Mariners. Other notable draftees included Chris Carpenter, Torii Hunter, Jason Varitek, Scott Rolen, future NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, and Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.

2003 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 2003 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League Central.

2004 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 2004 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 122nd season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second-place in the National League East with a record of 86-76, ten games behind the Atlanta Braves, and six games behind the NL wild-card champion Houston Astros. The Phillies were managed by their former shortstop Larry Bowa (85-75) and Gary Varsho (1-1), who replaced Bowa on the penultimate day of the season. The Phillies played their first season of home games at Citizens Bank Park, which opened April 12, with the visiting Cincinnati Reds defeating the Phillies, 4-1.

2005 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 2005 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 123rd season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second place in the National League East with a record of 88-74, two games behind the Atlanta Braves, and one game behind the NL Champion Houston Astros, who won the NL Wild-Card race for the second consecutive season. The Phillies were managed by their new manager Charlie Manuel, as they played their home games at Citizens Bank Park. First-baseman Ryan Howard was named the National League's Rookie-of-the-Year for the 2005 season.

2006 Major League Baseball draft

The 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 6 and 7. It was conducted via conference call with representatives from each of the league's 30 teams.

2006 National League Championship Series

The 2006 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2006 National League playoffs, began on October 12 and ended on October 19; it was scheduled to begin on October 11, but was postponed a day because of inclement weather. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the heavily favored New York Mets in seven games to advance to the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

The Cardinals and the Mets took the series to the limit, reaching the 9th inning of Game 7 tied at 1–1. The Cardinals took the lead with Yadier Molina's two-run home run off Mets reliever Aaron Heilman in the 9th to put his team ahead, 3–1. Adam Wainwright would then hold the Mets scoreless in the bottom of the 9th to give St. Louis their second pennant in three years and 17th in club history, placing them one behind the New York/San Francisco Giants and the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for most in NL modern history (since 1903). The Cardinals were making their third consecutive appearance in the NLCS; manager Tony La Russa, who led St. Louis to the 2004 pennant and previously won AL titles with the Oakland Athletics from 1988–90, became the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both leagues.

The Mets, handicapped after season-ending injuries to Pedro Martínez and Orlando Hernández, qualified for postseason play for the first time since 2000. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to none in the NL Division Series, while the Cardinals defeated the San Diego Padres three games to one. The Mets had home-field advantage due to their better record in the regular season (the Mets were 97–65, the Cardinals 83–78). The Mets and Cardinals previously met in the 2000 NLCS, which the Mets won in five games.

The Cardinals would go on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in five games.

2006 National League Division Series

The 2006 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 2006 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Sunday, October 8, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) New York Mets (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (4) Los Angeles Dodgers (Wild Card, 88–74); Mets win series, 3–0.

(2) San Diego Padres (Western Division champions, 88–74) vs. (3) St. Louis Cardinals (Central Division champions, 83–78); Cardinals win series, 3–1.The Mets and the Cardinals met in the NL Championship Series, with the Cardinals becoming the National League champion and going on to face the American League champion Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series.

2006 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 2006 season was the 45th regular season for the Mets. They went 97-65 and won the NL East, a feat the team would not repeat until 2015. They were managed by Willie Randolph. They played home games at Shea Stadium. They used the marketing slogan of "The Team. The Time. The Mets." throughout the season.

2010 Atlanta Braves season

The 2010 Atlanta Braves season was the franchise's 45th season in Atlanta along with the 135th season in the National League and 140th overall. It featured the Braves' attempt to reclaim a postseason berth for the first time since 2005. The Braves once again were skippered by Bobby Cox, in his 25th and final overall season managing the team. It was their 45th season in Atlanta, and the 135th of the franchise. Finishing the season with a 91–71 record, the Braves won the NL Wild Card, only to be eliminated in the NLDS by the San Francisco Giants in four games.

2010 Major League Baseball draft

The 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was held on June 7–9, 2010 at the MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.

300 save club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 300 save club is the group of pitchers who have recorded 300 or more regular-season saves in their careers. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever" or "closer") earns a save by being the final pitcher of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and pitching at least one inning without losing the lead. The final pitcher of a game can earn a save by getting at least one batter out to end the game with the winning run on base, at bat, or on deck, or by pitching the last three innings without relinquishing the lead, regardless of score.

The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official statistic by MLB in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for past pitchers where applicable. Hoyt Wilhelm retired in 1972 and recorded just 31 saves from 1969 onwards, for example, but holds 227 total career saves.Mariano Rivera holds the MLB save record with 652. Only Rivera and Trevor Hoffman have exceeded 500 or 600 saves, and Hoffman was the first to achieve either. Rivera, Hoffman, Lee Smith, Francisco Rodríguez, John Franco, and Billy Wagner are the only pitchers to have recorded 400 or more saves. Rollie Fingers was the first player to record 300 saves, reaching the mark on April 21, 1982. Craig Kimbrel is the most recent, achieving his 300th on May 5, 2018. In total, 29 players have recorded 300 or more saves in their career. Only eight relievers – Dennis Eckersley, Fingers, Goose Gossage, Hoffman, Rivera, Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Wilhelm – have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; all but Wilhelm also have at least 300 saves. Kimbrel and Fernando Rodney are the only active players with more than 300 saves, and Kimbrel is the active leader with 344.

Ezequiel Astacio

Ezequiel Franklin Astacio (born November 4, 1979) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

Obtained by the Houston Astros from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 as part of the Billy Wagner trade. Astacio got a taste of the big league in 2005 posting a 3–6 record with a 5.67 ERA. He pitched 100 innings, striking out 66 and walking 25. Typical of a lot of younger pitchers with a plus fastball, he also gave up an eye opening 25 home runs. He gave up the game-winning home run to Geoff Blum in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series against the Chicago White Sox.

Astacio was claimed off of waivers by the Texas Rangers on March 26, 2007, but he failed to make the team following spring training. After clearing waivers, Astacio was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks. After signing with the Cincinnati Reds organization, Astacio was released before pitching in a game. He then signed with the Chicago Cubs in September 2009, but was released that same month.

Jack DiLauro

Jack Edward DiLauro (born May 3, 1943, in Akron, Ohio) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets.

DiLauro started his professional baseball career by signing with the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent on January 1, 1963. He never played in the Major Leagues for the Tigers. On December 4, 1968, he was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Hector Valle.In 1969, DiLauro pitched 4 games for the Mets AAA minor league affiliate, the Tidewater Tides. He was then promoted to the Mets and made his major league debut for the Mets on May 15, 1969, against the Atlanta Braves. In 1969, he pitched in 23 games, mostly in relief, and 63​2⁄3 innings for the Mets. He won 1 game against 4 losses with 1 save. The win, his first in the Major Leagues occurred on July 20 against the Montreal Expos. His ERA in 1969 was a solid 2.40, better than league average. The Mets won the World Series in 1969, but DiLauro did not pitch in the postseason.After the season, DiLauro was drafted from the Mets by the Houston Astros in the rule 5 draft. In 1970 DiLauro pitched in 42 games for the Astros, all in relief, pitching 33​2⁄3 innings. He had 1 win and 3 losses with 3 saves.He was sold by the Astros to the Hawaii Islanders, the San Diego Padres AAA team in the Pacific Coast League on March 15, 1971. In July 1971 he was traded with Hank McGraw (brother of DiLauro's former Mets teammate Tug McGraw) to the Atlanta Braves organization for Marv Staehle. But he never pitched in the major leagues after 1970.As of August 23, 2008 DiLauro's Mets ERA of 2.40 is 3rd best all-time among Mets pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched for the team, behind only Carlos Diaz and Billy Wagner.

List of Houston Astros team records

This is a list of individual single-season records for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball Reliever of the Year Award

Major League Baseball (MLB) annually honors its best relief pitchers in the American League (AL) and National League (NL) with the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award and Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award, respectively. The awards are named after Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, who played their entire careers in the respective leagues. First issued in 2014, the awards replaced the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award, which had been presented since 2005. Also in 2014, the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award was discontinued. The Reliever of the Year Award winners had all been closers until 2018, when Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers won as a setup man.

The Reliever of the Year Awards are based on the votes of a panel of retired relievers. Each voter selects three pitchers for each league based solely on their performance in the regular season; a 5-3-1 weighted point system is used to determine the winner. At its inception in 2014, the panel consisted of the top five relievers in career saves at the time—Rivera, Hoffman, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner—and the four living relief pitchers who were in the Hall of Fame: Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, and Bruce Sutter.

Marion, Virginia

Marion is a town in and the county seat of Smyth County, Virginia, United States. The general Marion area is well known for its scenic beauty. The population is approximately *6,000 as of 2018. The town is named for American Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion. *6,000 is the approximate town limits population. The inclusion of suburban residents who possess a Marion address and zip code (24354) leaves Marion, Virginia with a total population of approximately 15,300, which is about half of the county's total population.

Philadelphia Phillies annual franchise awards

The Philadelphia Phillies annual franchise awards have been given since 2004 by the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to four members of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise for "season-ending achievements." The awards were created by Bucks County Courier Times Phillies beat writer Randy Miller, who also served as the chairman of the BBWAA's Philadelphia chapter. Winners receive a glass trophy shaped like home plate. In 2014, a fifth award was added: the Charlie Manuel Award for Service and Passion to Baseball.

Tim Worrell

Timothy Howard Worrell (born July 5, 1967) is a former professional baseball pitcher. A right-hander, he pitched all or part of fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily as a relief pitcher. During his major league career, Worrell pitched for nine teams, including the San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants (twice), Philadelphia Phillies, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Worrell's greatest success came in 2003 when he replaced the injured Robb Nen as the closer for San Francisco. After the season Worrell signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he returned to his previous role as a set-up pitcher, often pitching the eighth inning before Phillies closer Billy Wagner entered the game.

Worrell is the younger brother of former Major League pitcher Todd Worrell, himself a former closer for the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

On May 6, 2005, Worrell stated that he was dealing with "personal psychological issues" that had to be resolved and was subsequently placed on the 15-day disabled list. Prior to this disclosure Worrell had struggled, posting a 9.82 ERA, by far the worst of his career. Seemingly back to his old self, Worrell returned to pitch a perfect ninth on July 4, 2005 and completed the season in Arizona with an exceptional 0.90 ERA over his last 18 games.

On December 1, 2005, Worrell's return to the San Francisco Giants was agreed, with a two-year contract valued at $4 million.

On January 10, 2007, he announced his retirement due to a persistent nerve problem in his neck. Worrell stated that his major league career is not completely over as he wanted to get into coaching. He is currently the rehab pitching coach for the Peoria Padres.

Delivery Man Award
(2005–2013)
Trevor Hoffman Award
(2014–present)
Mariano Rivera Award
(2014–present)

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