Bruce Sutter

Howard Bruce Sutter (/ˈsuːtər/; born January 8, 1953) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. He was arguably the first pitcher to make effective use of the split-finger fastball. One of the sport's dominant relievers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he became the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979–1982, 1984). In 1979, Sutter won the NL's Cy Young Award as the league's top pitcher.

Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sutter briefly attended Old Dominion University and was subsequently signed by the Chicago Cubs as an undrafted free agent in 1971. Between 1976 and 1988, he played for the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves. In the mid-1980s, Sutter began to experience shoulder problems, undergoing three surgeries and retiring in 1989.

Sutter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006, his 13th year of eligibility. He was the fourth relief pitcher to be inducted. He was also selected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014. He was hired by the Philadelphia Phillies as a minor league consultant.

Bruce Sutter
Newbrucesutter
Sutter during the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade
Pitcher
Born: January 8, 1953 (age 66)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 9, 1976, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
September 9, 1988, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record68–71
Earned run average2.83
Strikeouts861
Saves300
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2006
Vote76.9% (thirteenth ballot)

Early life

Sutter was born to Howard and Thelma Sutter in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His father managed a Farm Bureau warehouse in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.[1] Bruce was the fifth child of six.[2]

Sutter graduated from Donegal High School in Mount Joy, where he played baseball, football and basketball. He was quarterback and captain of the football team and also served as captain for the basketball squad, which won a district championship in his senior season. His baseball team also won the county championship.[2]

Career

Early career

After being selected by the Washington Senators in the 21st round of the June 1970 draft, Sutter instead attended Old Dominion University before signing with the Cubs as a free agent in September 1971. He pitched in two games for the Gulf Coast League Cubs in 1972.[3] When he was 19, Sutter had surgery on his arm to relieve a pinched nerve.[4] When he recovered from surgery and returned to the mound a year later, Sutter found that his previous pitches were no longer effective. He learned the split-finger fastball from minor league pitching instructor Fred Martin. Sutter's large hands helped him to use the pitch, which was a modification of the forkball.[4]

Sutter had nearly been released by the Cubs, but found success with the new pitch. Mike Krukow, who was also a Cubs minor league player at the time, said, "As soon as I saw him throw it, I knew he was going to the big leagues. Everyone wanted to throw it after he did."[5] He recorded a 3-3 win-loss record, a 4.13 ERA and five saves in 40 games in Class A baseball in 1973.[3]

Sutter split the 1974 season between the Class A Key West Conchs and the Class AA Midland Cubs. Though he finished the season with a combined 2-7 record, he recorded a 1.38 ERA in 65 innings. He returned to Midland in 1975 and finished the year with a 5-7 record, a 2.15 ERA and 13 saves.[3] Sutter led the team in ERA and saves as they won the Texas League West Division pennant.[6] He started the 1976 season with the Class AAA Wichita Aeros, but he pitched only seven games with the team before being promoted to the major leagues.[3]

Chicago Cubs (1976–1980)

Sutter joined the Cubs in May 1976. He pitched in 52 games and finished with a 6-3 win-loss record and 10 saves. In 1977 he had a 1.34 ERA, earned an All-Star Game selection, and finished sixth and seventh in NL Cy Young Award and MVP Award voting, respectively.[7] On September 8, 1977, Sutter struck out three batters on nine pitches — Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter and Larry Parrish — in the ninth inning of a 10-inning 3-2 win over the Montreal Expos. Sutter became the 12th NL pitcher and the 19th pitcher in MLB history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. Sutter had also struck out the side (though not on nine pitches) upon entering the game in the eighth inning, giving him six consecutive strikeouts, tying the NL record for a reliever.

Sutter's ERA increased to 3.19 in 1978, but he earned 27 saves.[7] In May 1979, the Cubs acquired relief pitcher Dick Tidrow. Tidrow would enter the game and pitch a couple of innings before Sutter came in for the save. Sutter credited Tidrow for much of his success.[8] Sutter saved 37 games for the club, tying the NL record held by Clay Carroll (1972) and Rollie Fingers (1978), and won the NL Cy Young Award. This year also marked the first of five seasons (four consecutive) in which he led the league in saves. Sutter also won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and The Sporting News Fireman of the Year Award. In addition to a league-leading 28 saves in 1980, Sutter recorded a 2.64 ERA and finished with a 5-8 win-loss record in 60 games. His strikeout total, which had been over 100 the previous three seasons, fell to 76 that year and he never finished with more than 77 strikeouts in any of his remaining seasons.[7]

St. Louis Cardinals (1981–1984)

BruceSutter1988
Sutter during his Cardinal days.

Sutter was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz and a player to be named later in December 1980. He made his fifth consecutive All-Star Game in 1981.[7] He recorded 25 saves, registered a 2.62 ERA and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.[7]

Sutter registered 36 saves in 1982, finishing third in the Cy Young Award voting.[7] The Cardinals won the 1982 World Series and Sutter is credited with two saves in that Series, including the Series-clinching save in Game 7 which ended with a strikeout of Gorman Thomas. He received a leaping hug after that game by catcher and World Series MVP Darrell Porter. Sutter also earned the save in the pennant-clinching victory in the NLCS.

In 1983, Sutter recorded a 9-10 win-loss record and a 4.23 ERA; his save total declined to 21.[7] In April of that year, Sutter executed a rare unassisted pickoff play: as Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates took a long lead off first base, he became distracted by Cardinals first baseman Keith Hernandez. Sutter ran off the mound to tag Madlock out.[9]

Sutter, who won both the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award again in 1981, 1982, and 1984, tied Dan Quisenberry's major league record for most saves in a season (45) in 1984. (His MLB record was broken by Dave Righetti (46) in 1986 and his NL record was broken by Lee Smith (47) in 1991.) During Sutter's record-breaking season, he pitched a career-high ​122 23 innings. It was one of five seasons in which Sutter threw more than 100 innings.[10]

Atlanta Braves (1985–1988)

Sutter joined the Atlanta Braves in December 1984 as a free agent. The New York Times reported that Sutter's six-year contract paid him $4.8 million and placed another $4.8 million into a deferred payment account at 13 percent interest. The newspaper estimated that the account would pay Sutter $1.3 million per year for 30 years after the initial six seasons of the contract. Sutter said that he was attracted to the Braves because of Atlanta's scenery and his respect for Ted Turner and Dale Murphy.[11]

Before the start of the 1985 season, Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog commented on facing the season without Sutter. "To me, Bruce is the best there ever was", Herzog said. "Losing him is like Kansas City losing Dan Quisenberry...I told Bruce, 'Look, you've taken care of your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren. Now, if I get fired in July, will you take care of me and Mary Lou?'"[12]

When Sutter arrived in Atlanta, only two Braves pitchers had ever earned 25 or more saves in a season; the Braves in 1984 had recorded 49 saves as a team, just four more than Sutter's own total.[13] In 1985, Sutter's ERA rose to 4.48 and his saves total decreased to 23.[7] By the end of the season, he was bothered by nerve impingement in the right shoulder.[14] He underwent surgery on the shoulder after the season, and recovered in time to appear in spring training in mid-March 1986.[15]

Near the end of March 1986, Sutter commented on his recovery, saying, "I'm throwing the ball as hard as I ever have, but it's just not getting there as fast. I don't know what's going to happen. I just have to keep throwing and see. So far, there have been no setbacks. Today I felt great, no problems."[16] Sutter started the season with a 2-0 record and a 4.34 ERA in 16 games.[7] He was placed on the disabled list in May due to arm problems. On July 31, manager Chuck Tanner announced that Sutter would probably not return to pitching in that season.[17]

Sutter underwent shoulder surgery in February 1987, the third procedure performed on his arm, in an attempt to remove scar tissue and to promote nerve healing. To recover from the surgery, he was required to miss the entire 1987 season.[18] He returned to limited action with the Braves in 1988.[2] In late May, Sutter earned saves on consecutive nights and sportswriter Jerome Holtzman characterized his pitching as "vintage Sutter."[19] He finished the year with a 1-4 record, a 4.76 ERA and 14 saves in 38 games pitched.[7] In late September, he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.[20]

Retirement

By March 1989, Sutter was dealing with a severely torn rotator cuff and he admitted that he would be unlikely to return to baseball. "There's probably a 99.9 percent chance I won't be able to pitch again", he said.[21] General Manager Bobby Cox said that "Bruce is not going to retire. We're not going to release him. We'll put him on the 21-day disabled list, then probably move him to the 60-day DL later on."[21] Sutter planned to reevaluate his condition after resting his arm for three to four months.[21] The Braves released him that November.[22]

He retired with exactly 300 saves – at the time, the third-highest total in history, behind Rollie Fingers (341) and Rich "Goose" Gossage (302). His career saves total was an NL record until broken by Lee Smith in 1993; Sutter had set the NL record in 1982 with his 194th save, surpassing the mark held by Roy Face. In his first nine seasons, only Kent Tekulve made more appearances, and he saved 133 of the Cubs' 379 wins between 1976 and 1980.

Hall of Fame

CardsRetired42
Bruce Sutter's number 42 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006.

Sutter appeared on his thirteenth Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2006. Sportswriter Matthew Leach of MLB.com referred to this ballot as Sutter's best chance for induction; he pointed out that Sutter would only be eligible for two more Hall of Fame ballots. Nearing the end of his eligibility, Sutter said he did not think about induction very often. "It's just an honor to be on the ballot, but it's not something I think that much about. I have no control over it. ... It's out of my hands. It's the voters, it's in the voters' hands. There's nothing I can do about it. I can't pitch anymore... There's a lot of guys that I think should be in that aren't in. It's for the special few people to get into the Hall of Fame. It shouldn't be easy to get in", he said.[23]

On January 10, 2006, Sutter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his 13th year of eligibility by receiving 400 votes out of a possible 520, or 76.9%. He was the fourth relief pitcher inducted, the first pitcher inducted without starting a game[24] and the first inductee to end his career with fewer than 1700 innings pitched. He is also one of four pitchers in the Hall of Fame to be inducted with a losing record (Rollie Fingers and Satchel Paige before him and Trevor Hoffman since joining them). Before Sutter, Ralph Kiner (1975) was the last player elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA so late in their eligibility period; Kiner was elected in his 13th ballot.

MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman attributed the delay in Sutter's Hall of Fame election to several factors. He pointed out that Sutter's first five strong seasons were with the Cubs, a team that did not receive much attention during those years. He also noted that the closer role was relatively new in baseball history. Finally, he wrote that Sutter's candidacy was hurt because his career was cut short by injuries.[25]

At his Hall of Fame induction that July, Sutter was the only former MLB player inducted. However, he was joined by 17 Negro league baseball players. During his induction speech, Sutter said, "I haven't played baseball for 18 years now and I'm getting more sentimental as I get older. You start losing family members and you start losing friends. There are teammates who have passed on. You start thinking of them as you put together a speech. I'm not usually an emotional guy. My kids said the first time they ever saw me cry was when I got that phone call [telling him that he was elected]. Now today. I guess a lot of people have seen me crying now."[26] Johnny Bench and Ozzie Smith wore decorative beards to the induction speech in honor of Sutter.[26] Sutter's Hall of Fame plaque depicts his wearing a Cardinals cap,[27] although the Hall considers his "primary team" (the team he represents as a Hall of Fame member) to be the Cubs.

Other honors

Sutter's number 42, which he wore throughout his career, was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals during a ceremony at Busch Stadium on September 17, 2006. He shares his retired number with Jackie Robinson, whose number 42 was retired by all MLB teams in 1997.[28] He, along with Mariano Rivera, is one of two players with that number other than Robinson to have had their number retired.

In November 2010, Sutter was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. A few months later, Herzog accepted the honor in place of Sutter, whose wife was hospitalized with cancer.[29] In January 2014, the Cardinals announced Sutter among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for the inaugural class of 2014.[30]

Personal life

Sutter remained in Atlanta with his wife and three sons after retirement. His son Chad was a catcher who played for Tulane University and was selected by the New York Yankees in the 23rd round (711th overall) of the 1999 amateur draft. Chad played one season in the minor leagues and later joined the coaching staff of the Tulane baseball team.[31]

On August 23, 2010, he was named a minor league consultant for the Philadelphia Phillies.[32] He was hired to evaluate pitching prospects at the team's Class AA and AAA affiliates.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ Porter, David (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Q-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1503. ISBN 0313311765. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Groff, Tyler. "Bruce Sutter". Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bruce Sutter Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Claire (July 30, 2006). "A reliever's long road trip". Philly.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  5. ^ Kurkjian, Tim (July 28, 2006). "Mastery of splitter led to Sutter's success". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "1975 Midland Cubs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bruce Sutter Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Fimaite, Ron (September 17, 1979). "This pitch in time saves nine". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Mulligan, Stephen (2013). Were You There?: Over 300 Wonderful, Weird, and Wacky Moments from Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. Dorrance Publishing Co. p. 131. ISBN 148090502X. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Kurkjian, Tim. "Mastery of splitter led to Sutter's success". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Sutter becomes a Brave". The New York Times. December 8, 1984. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Durso, Joseph (March 4, 1985). "Sutter-less Cards optimistic". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  13. ^ Martinez, Michael (March 31, 1985). "Sutter and Braves: A happy marriage". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Bruce Sutter plans to..." Chicago Tribune. January 23, 1987. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Robb, Sharon (March 12, 1986). "Atlanta`s fireman off to a hot start: Braves relieved after Sutter`s first outing". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Verrell, Gordon (March 30, 1986). "Sutter's comeback goes slow: Braves relief ace's velocity in question". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  17. ^ "Wednesday's Notebook". Orlando Sentinel. July 31, 1986. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  18. ^ "Bruce Sutter recovering from surgery". Rome News-Tribune. February 12, 1987. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  19. ^ Holtzman, Jerome (May 26, 1988). "Sutter finds touch again after not losing heart". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Sutter has surgery". Sun-Sentinel. September 27, 1988. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c "Sports People: Baseball; Sutter's Hopes Are Dim". The New York Times. March 29, 1989. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  22. ^ "Bruce Sutter Career Ends". Bangor Daily News. November 16, 1989. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  23. ^ Leach, Matthew. "Sutter braces for latest Hall chance". MLB.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  24. ^ Sutter elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  25. ^ Bauman, Mike. "No need to be split: Sutter deserves it". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Bloom, Barry (July 30, 2006). "History for Sutter, Negro Leaguers". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  27. ^ "History for Sutter, Negro Leaguers | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  28. ^ "Cardinals pay tribute to Sutter | cardinals.com: News". St. Louis Cardinals. MLB. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  29. ^ Nelson, Kathleen (February 11, 2011). "Herzog subs for Sutter at Locker Room Luncheon". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  30. ^ Cardinals Press Release (January 18, 2014). "Cardinals establish Hall of Fame & detail induction process". www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  31. ^ "Chad Sutter Bio". Tulane University. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  32. ^ "Phillies bring in Sutter to mentor young arms | phillies.com: News". Philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  33. ^ Stephens, Bailey. "Sutter to work with Phils' pitching prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014.

External links

1971 Chicago Cubs season

The 1971 Chicago Cubs season was the 100th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 96th in the National League and the 56th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League East with a record of 83–79.

1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 49th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 11, 1978, at San Diego Stadium in San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres of the National League. The game resulted in a 7-3 victory for the NL.

This was the first All-Star Game to be played in San Diego. It would return in 1992 to be played in the same stadium, though it was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium by that time.

The honorary captains were Brooks Robinson (for the AL) and Eddie Mathews (for the NL).

1981 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1981 season was the team's 100th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 90th season in the National League. 1981 was a season of two significant anomalies: A change in the playoff format, which created the first-ever Divisional Series with a qualification variant that existed only for that season, and the players' strike, which truncated the regular season. Despite finishing 59-43, good for the best overall record in the National League East, the strike set up the scenario where the Cardinals actually missed the playoffs. The regular season was split into halves to tally teams' records separately in each half of the season, and because the Cardinals finished in second place in each half, they did not qualify for the 1981 playoffs. Major League Baseball reverted to the previous playoff format the following season, and the Cardinals qualified for that postseason.

First baseman Keith Hernandez won a Gold Glove this year.

1982 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers season resulted in the team winning its first and only American League Championship.

As a team, the Brewers led Major League Baseball in a number of offensive categories, including at bats (5733), runs scored (891), home runs (216), runs batted in (843), slugging percentage (.455), on-base plus slugging (.789), total bases (2606) and extra-base hits (534).

1982 National League Championship Series

The 1982 National League Championship Series was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves from October 6 to 10.

Cardinals won their first pennant since 1968, not 1967 as stated.

1982 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1982 season was the team's 101st season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 91st season in the National League. Making up for the previous season's near-miss, the Cardinals went 92—70 during the season and won their first-ever National League East Division title by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies. They achieved their first postseason appearance since 1968 and defeated the National League West champion Atlanta Braves in three straight games to claim the NL pennant. From there, they went on to win the World Series in seven games over the American League champion Milwaukee Brewers. It was the Cardinals' first World Championship since 1967, and their last until they opened the current Busch Stadium in 2006.

1982 World Series

The 1982 World Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Cardinals winning in seven games.

The Cardinals had last been in the World Series in 1968, and a Milwaukee team, the Braves, in 1958. The Milwaukee team of 1982 started as an expansion team in Seattle in 1969, which then moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and changed their name to the Brewers.The Cardinals made it to the Series by winning the National League East division by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies, and then defeating the Atlanta Braves by 3 games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers made it by winning the American League East division by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, and then defeating the California Angels by 3 games to 2 in the American League Championship Series.

With the Cardinals winning this series, the National League achieved four straight World Series championships from 1979 to 1982. The National League would not again achieve even back-to-back victories until the Giants won in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011.

Though the teams had never met before, their home cities had an existing commercial rivalry in the beer market, as St. Louis is the home of Anheuser–Busch, which owned the Cardinals at the time, while Milwaukee is the home of Miller Brewing and other past major competitors of Anheuser–Busch. This led the media to refer to it as the "Suds Series."

1984 Philadelphia Phillies season

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia in the United States of America. Below are details about their 1984 playing season.

1984 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1984 season was the team's 103rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 93rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 84-78 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League East, 12½ games behind their arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs. It was also the final season of the Columbia blue road uniforms for the Cardinals.

1985 Atlanta Braves season

The 1985 Atlanta Braves season was the 20th in Atlanta and the 115th season in franchise history. The Braves failed to qualify for the postseason for the third consecutive season.

1985 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1985 season was the Philadelphia Phillies 103rd season. The Phillies finished in fifth place in the National League East with a record of 75 wins and 87 losses. It was the first time the team finished below .500 since going 80-82 in 1974.

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 are also members of the 300 saves club. Kimbrel and Fernando Rodney are the only members of the 300 save club who are still active players. Of them, Kimbrel is the active leader in saves with 333.

Closer (baseball)

In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer (abbreviated CL), is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close game when his team is leading. The role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. Before the 1990s, pitchers in similar roles were referred to as a fireman, short reliever, and stopper. A small number of closers have won the Cy Young Award. Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm are closers who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jeff Lahti

Jeffrey Allen Lahti (born October 8, 1956) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He is an alumnus of Portland State University.

Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 5th round of the 1978 MLB amateur draft, Lahti made his Major League Baseball debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on June 27, 1982, and appeared in his final game on April 24, 1986.

Lahti was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals team that defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series.

He led the 1985 Cardinal team that went to the World Series in saves a year after the departure of relief ace Bruce Sutter. He was injured early in the 1986 season and Todd Worrell took over as the team's closer, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Lahti was often called "Lahti-Da" by his teammates out of respect for his pitching finesse.

In 2012 the acting governor for the Government of Michigan incumbent Rick Snyder contacted the then Governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber with a proposition. Snyder had watched Jeff Lahti play throughout his short baseball career, and had been inspired by Lathi and impressed by his charismatic style. Snyder proposed to the governor that a children's health clinic be named in honor of the baseball player. He felt that the name would inspire and give hope to sick children in Lahti's hometown. Initial talks between the governors were promising, but further support was needed to get the project off the ground. Unfortunately, talks broke down when two undisclosed members of the Government of Michigan intercepted the conversations and advised John Kitzhaber to not move forward with the project. The talks were concluded in their very early stages. The Lahti Children's Health Clinic was ultimately never proposed or put into motion.

List of Chicago Cubs team records

The following lists statistical records and all-time leaders as well as awards and major accomplishments for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball club of Major League Baseball. The records list the top 5 players in each category since the inception of the Cubs.

Players that are still active with the Cubs are denoted in bold.

Records updated as of August 5, 2011.

List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders

The following is a list of annual leaders in saves in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever") earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an MLB official statistic in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date.

MLB recognizes the player or players in each league with the most saves each season. In retrospect, the five saves by Jack Manning meant he led the National League in its inaugural year, while Bill Hoffer was the American League's first saves champion with three. Mordecai Brown was the first pitcher to record at least 10 saves in a season. Dan Quisenberry, Bruce Sutter, Firpo Marberry, and Ed Walsh are the only pitchers to lead the league in saves five times (though Marberry and Walsh did so before 1969). Sutter is also tied with Harry Wright, Dan Quisenberry and Craig Kimbrel for the most consecutive seasons leading the league in saves with four.

Quincy Gems (baseball)

The Quincy Gems was the primary name of the minor league baseball team in Quincy, Illinois. Quincy teams played periodically for 57 seasons between 1883 and 1973. Baseball Hall of Fame members Bruce Sutter, Tony Kubek and Whitey Herzog played for the minor league Quincy franchise. The Quincy Gems name returned in 2009 with the current collegiate summerProspect League team.

Rolaids Relief Man Award

The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers are the pitchers who enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1987 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.The inaugural award winners were Bill Campbell (AL) and Rawly Eastwick (NL); Campbell also won in the following season. Dan Quisenberry and Mariano Rivera each won the AL award five times, while Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter won the award four times each. Lee Smith won the award on three occasions; Campbell, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Righetti, John Franco, Éric Gagné, Randy Myers, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodríguez, Heath Bell, and José Valverde each won the award twice. Sutter (NL 1979), Fingers (AL 1981), Steve Bedrosian (NL 1987), Mark Davis (NL 1989), Eckersley (AL 1992), and Éric Gagné (NL 2003) won the Relief Man and the Cy Young Award in the same season; Fingers and Eckersley won the AL MVP as well, in 1981 and 1992 respectively. Todd Worrell won both the Relief Man and the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the 1986 MLB season. Rivera and Joe Nathan were the only relief pitchers to have tied in points for the award, and both were awarded in 2009. Goose Gossage, Fingers, Eckersley, Hoffman, Rivera, Smith, John Smoltz and Sutter were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Kimbrel (NL) and Jim Johnson (AL) were the final award winners in 2012. Sanofi acquired Rolaids from Johnson & Johnson unit McNeil Consumer Healthcare in 2013, but the award was not continued as a part of its marketing strategy.

Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award

The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award was an annual award presented to the best relief pitcher in each league in Major League Baseball (MLB). It was established in 1960 by The Sporting News (TSN) as the Fireman of the Year Award. At the time, no reliever had ever received a Cy Young Award vote. The Fireman of the Year Award originally recognized the reliever with the most combined saves and wins in each league in MLB. The magazine had started publishing the then-unofficial save statistic that same year. Later, a save was worth two points compared to one for a save in determining the winner. In 2001 the award was chosen based on consensus from TSN editors, and it was renamed to Reliever of the Year Award. The award was last issued in 2010 before being discontinued.

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