Trevor William Hoffman (born October 13, 1967) is an American former baseball relief pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1993 to 2010. A long-time closer, he pitched for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers, including more than 15 years for the Padres. He was the major leagues' first player to reach the 500- and 600-save milestones, and was the all-time saves leader from 2006 until 2011. Hoffman was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2018. He currently serves as senior advisor for baseball operations for the Padres.
Hoffman played shortstop collegiately at the University of Arizona and was drafted in the 11th round by the Cincinnati Reds. After not having much success batting, Hoffman was converted to a pitcher, as he was able to throw up to 95 miles per hour (mph). The Marlins acquired him in the 1992 expansion draft, and he pitched in Florida until he was traded to the Padres mid-season in 1993 in a deal that sent star Gary Sheffield to the Marlins. Hoffman recorded 20 saves in 1994 in his first season as Padres closer, and in the following years, he became the face of the franchise after Tony Gwynn retired. He collected at least 30 saves each year for the next 14 years, except for 2003 when he missed most of the year recovering from shoulder surgery. After San Diego did not re-sign him following the 2008 season, Hoffman pitched for two years with the Brewers before retiring after the 2010 season.
Hoffman was selected for the All-Star team seven times, and twice he was the runner-up for the National League (NL) Cy Young Award, given annually to the top pitcher in the league. He retired with MLB records of fifteen 20-save seasons, fourteen 30-save seasons (including eight consecutive), and nine 40-save seasons (including two streaks of four consecutive). He also retired with the highest career strikeout rate of any reliever.[note 1] Though he entered the majors with a powerful fastball, an injury after the 1994 season permanently sapped Hoffman's fastball velocity and forced him to reinvent his pitching style; he subsequently developed one of the best changeups in baseball. Hoffman's entrance at home games accompanied by the song "Hells Bells" was popular with fans.
After retiring as a player, Hoffman returned to the Padres as a special assistant in the front office. In 2014, he became the team's pitching coordinator at their upper minor league levels, which included working with the Padres general manager. The following year, his role expanded to overseeing pitching instruction at all levels in the minors.
Hoffman pitching for the Padres in 2008
|Born: October 13, 1967|
|April 6, 1993, for the Florida Marlins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 2010, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Earned run average||2.87|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||79.9% (third ballot)|
Hoffman was born in Bellflower, California. When he was six weeks old, Hoffman had to have a damaged kidney removed because an arterial blockage had formed there. His father, Ed, who stood at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 225 pounds (102 kg), was a Marine and a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. He later became a professional singer before he quit being on the road and got a job at the post office. He was also an usher at California Angels games; he was known as the Singing Usher, leading the crowd in the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the seventh-inning and filling in if the designated national anthem singer did not show up. Ed would often bring Trevor to the games with him. Hoffman's mother, Mikki, was a ballerina and came from an athletic family. Her father was a professional soccer player before World War II. She taught Hoffman to take responsibility. "Bad workmen always blame their tools", Mikki would say.
Hoffman's older brother, Glenn, was nine years older and played shortstop in the Boston Red Sox organization. During summer vacation when Hoffman was 10 years old, he joined Glenn while he was playing in Pawtucket. His oldest brother, Greg, was 14 years Hoffman's senior and a mentor to his two younger brothers. After Hoffman's first Little League game, Greg asked him how he did. Hoffman responded, "I went 2-for-4, double, RBI." to which Greg replied, "That'll be the last (blanking) time you tell me how you did. When I ask you how you did, it's how the team did." Hoffman never forgot that. Given their age difference, Hoffman considered his brothers more role models than playmates. "[Glenn] was the guide while Greg was the drill instructor", said Hoffman.
Because of his damaged kidney, Hoffman was not allowed to play football or wrestle. Hoffman went to Savanna High School in Anaheim as had Glenn, which put pressure on Hoffman following his more talented older brother. Ed, who did not trust that coaches would protect Hoffman's arm, stopped allowing his son to pitch after he was 12 years old. Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) and 130 pounds (59 kg), Hoffman played shortstop at Savanna, but nobody offered him a scholarship out of high school. He grew three inches over the summer and continued playing at Cypress College, and later for the University of Arizona from 1988 through 1989. Arizona was afraid of the liability if Hoffman's remaining kidney got hit by a baseball. "I told them the one kidney I have is on my right side. That's not the side that faces the pitcher when I hit, so it was O.K. They bought it", said Hoffman. He led Arizona in hitting in 1988 with a .371 batting average, 35 points better than teammate J. T. Snow. Other notable teammates included Scott Erickson and Kevin Long. Hoffman exhibited a strong throwing arm playing shortstop.
Hoffman was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 11th round with the 288th overall selection of the 1989 MLB draft, and he signed for $3,000. Prior to the draft, Reds scout Jeff Barton talked to Hoffman about playing another position. Hoffman was open to anything that might advance his career, and they talked about catching or pitching with his exceptional arm. Barton ranked Hoffman's arm an 80 on a 20–80 scale, where 60 was above average and 80 was a rarity. Hoffman played shortstop and third base for the Reds' Single-A affiliate Charleston. In his first 103 games, he only batted .212 with 23 runs batted in. Not showing much batting potential, Hoffman was converted to pitcher in 1991 at the suggestion of Charleston manager Jim Lett, who also grew tired of Hoffman overthrowing first base. Hoffman threw 95 miles per hour (153 km/h) and recorded a 2.90 ERA with 169 strikeouts in 142 2⁄3 minor league innings over two seasons while alternating between relieving and starting at Single-A Cedar Rapids, Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Nashville.
Left unprotected by Cincinnati in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft, Hoffman was selected by the Florida Marlins with the eighth pick in the first round. In his first major league season in 1993, Hoffman learned by observing Marlins closer Bryan Harvey's balanced demeanor. After earning two saves in 29 appearances with the Marlins as an unknown rookie, Hoffman was traded midseason to the San Diego Padres during San Diego's 1993 fire sale. The Padres sent third baseman Gary Sheffield and pitcher Rich Rodriguez to the Marlins for Hoffman and pitching prospects José Martínez and Andrés Berumen. Padres general manager Randy Smith said at the time, "The only way to acquire quality players is to give up quality." The year before, Sheffield had won the NL batting title and made a run at the Triple Crown. Smith insisted that Florida include Hoffman in the deal. Padres fans, upset at the trade, booed Hoffman during his first several appearances. He allowed three runs in his one-inning debut with San Diego, eight runs over his first three outings, and blew his first save opportunity as a Padre. He pitched 39 games for San Diego, who finished the season with 101 losses, and ended his rookie season with 79 strikeouts in 90 innings with a 3.90 ERA and five saves.
During the strike-shortened 1994 season, Hoffman took over closer duties from an injured and ineffective Gene Harris in mid-April. Hoffman recorded 20 saves and a 2.57 ERA while averaging 10.9 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (K/9). The weekend after the strike began, Hoffman, playing Nerf football at Del Mar Beach near San Diego, dived for a pass and landed awkwardly on his right shoulder. He later played volleyball and landed on the shoulder again while going for a dig. He heard a strange sound.
In 1995, he had a 3.88 ERA and 31 saves and averaged 8.8 K/9. Hoffman pitched hurt from spring training through the season and finally had off-season rotator cuff surgery. "[Hoffman] never bitched about his arm, which was killing him from Day One ... He was out there when most guys wouldn't have been", said Smith. This is also the year during which he developed his changeup.
In both 1996 and 1997, Hoffman pitched over 80 innings, with 111 strikeouts, averaged approximately 40 saves, and had ERAs of 2.25 and 2.66. In 1996, the Padres entered the last three games of the season in Los Angeles trailing the division-leading Dodgers by two games. Hoffman recorded saves in each of the final three games against the Dodgers, as the Padres won the NL West for their first division title in 12 years. After finishing the season with 18 straight saves, Hoffman was named The Sporting News NL Fireman of the Year in 1996, and received votes for both the Cy Young Award and the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. The Padres played the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1996 National League Division Series (NLDS) and were swept in the series 3–0. Hoffman entered Game 2 with the score tied and one out and inherited runners on second and third. A run scored as he retired the only two batters he faced, and the Padres lost 5–4. In Game 3, Hoffman recorded the loss as he came into the tie game and allowed a 2-run homer to Brian Jordan for a 7–5 loss. The following season on June 23, 1997, he came in with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and struck out J. T. Snow to save the 11–6 win over the San Francisco Giants and became the Padres' career saves leader with 109, passing Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers. San Diego won only 76 games that year, but Hoffman ranked second in the NL with 37 saves.
During the 1998 season, Hoffman began entering save situations in Padres home games to the entrance music of AC/DC's "Hells Bells" playing over the public address system, an event that came to be known as "Trevor Time". The tradition began July 25, 1998, and the song was chosen by a Padres salesman. The crowd was excited by the tolling of the bells from the song, and the scoreboard showing Hoffman running in from the bullpen. Hoffman preserved a 6–5 win against the Houston Astros by striking out Moisés Alou to end that game and converted his 41st consecutive save opportunity, tying an MLB record at the time. The following night, Hoffman's streak ended on an Alou home run, though the Padres ended up winning the game. It was Hoffman's only blown save of the regular season. On September 1, he saved a 9–8 victory over the New York Mets for his 45th save, breaking the club record set by Mark Davis in 1989 when he won the Cy Young Award. On September 12, the Padres clinched their second division title in three years after Hoffman saved an 8–7 win over the Dodgers. In a 4–3 win over the Chicago Cubs on September 14, he worked a perfect ninth inning and became the fourth reliever in MLB history to reach the 50-save mark. Hoffman had a career-high 53 saves and a career-best 1.48 ERA. His saves tied the NL single-season record set in 1993 by the Cubs' Randy Myers. Opponents batted .165 against him, and the first hitters he faced hit .129. His ERA in save situations was 0.49, and he struck out 10.6 hitters per nine innings. The Padres were 62–4 in games he pitched. Hoffman was runner-up in the Cy Young Award race that year to Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves, despite receiving 13 first-place votes to Glavine's 11. Hoffman was left off of six ballots. Hoffman and Adam Wainwright in 2009 are the only two pitchers to ever receive the most first-place votes and not win the Cy Young. Hoffman won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and captured another Fireman of the Year Award. He finished seventh in NL MVP voting.
Facing the Houston Astros in the 1998 NLDS, the Padres won the series 3–1. Hoffman earned two saves, both in 2–1 wins. In Game 1 against Atlanta in the 1998 National League Championship Series, Hoffman entered to stop a rally in the eighth inning with a 2–1 lead. He allowed a run in the ninth, tying the game 2–2, after converting 53 of 54 save attempts during the regular season. After Padre Ken Caminiti hit a home run in the top of the 10th, Hoffman got two outs but ran into trouble and was taken out after throwing 43 pitches. He was credited with a win as the Padres held on, 3–2. Hoffman entered Game 3 with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth, and he struck out Javy López on three pitches to end the inning and would save the Padres' 4–1 victory. San Diego was up 3–0 in the series and would go on to win 4–2. The Padres reached the 1998 World Series, but lost the series 4–0 against the New York Yankees, who finished with an MLB-record 125 combined regular season and playoff victories and the third-best overall winning percentage (.714) for a World Series champion. In his only appearance in the series in Game 3, Hoffman entered in the eighth with a runner on and no outs and a 3–2 lead. Later in the inning, he surrendered a three-run homer to Scott Brosius, the eventual World Series MVP, and the Padres lost the game 5–4.
Hoffman signed a $32 million contract extension with San Diego in March 1999 for the 2000–03 seasons. At the time, it was the richest contract ever given any Padre or any relief pitcher. The Padres held an option for $10 million for 2004. Hoffman's contract included a no-trade clause, the first the Padres had ever granted. Following their World Series appearance in 1998, the Padres lost key players to begin the 1999 season and finished under .500 each season from 1999 through 2002, while finishing either fourth or fifth in the five-team NL West each year. Hoffman saved 56% of the team's wins during that span. He set MLB records with his fifth overall and fourth consecutive 40-save season in 2001, as well as his seventh consecutive 30-save campaign. In 2002, he extended his MLB record with his eighth straight 30-save season. Hoffman was named to the All-Star game in 1999, 2000, and 2002. On June 10, 1999, Hoffman struck out the side in the ninth inning in a 2–1 Padres victory over the Oakland Athletics for his 200th career save. On August 15, 2001, Hoffman recorded his 300th save in a 2–1 home win over the Mets. Hoffman broke Dennis Eckersley's record for most saves with one team (320) in 2002. Sports Illustrated placed Hoffman on the cover of their May 13, 2002 issue with the headline "The Secret of San Diego: Why Trevor Hoffman of the Padres is the best closer (ever)".
Hoffman sat out most of the 2003 season while recovering from two offseason shoulder surgeries, including one that trimmed the tip of his scapula. It marked the first time he had been on the disabled list after 10 major league seasons. In his absence, Rod Beck closed for the Padres. Hoffman pitched his first game in 2003 on September 2 with a perfect seventh inning in a 6–3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched in nine games in 2003, all non-save situations, with an ERA of 2.00 and 11 strikeouts in 9 innings. Coming off the injury, the Padres bought out their $10 million option on Hoffman for 2004 for $2 million and agreed to a new deal with a $2.5 million salary for 2004 including $500,000 in incentives and an option for 2005. In the Padres inaugural season at their new home in Petco Park in 2004, Hoffman returned to the closer role and finished with 41 saves with a 2.30 ERA, his lowest since 1998. He passed Jeff Reardon (367) and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley (390) to end the season third on the all-time saves list. The new park provide an upgrade over Qualcomm Stadium for "Trevor Time" with a state-of-the-art sound system and new scoreboards with enhanced visuals allowing for animated flames and live fan shots.
On May 6, 2005, Hoffman saved a 6–5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals as the Padres won two straight in St. Louis for the first time since 1977. It was Hoffman's 400th save, and he became the third pitcher in MLB history to reach the milestone, following John Franco (424) and Lee Smith (478). Hoffman was named both the NL Pitcher of the Month and Delivery Man of the Month in May after a perfect 12 for 12 in save opportunities while posting a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) in 12 games as the Padres went 22–6 for their best month in franchise history. On August 24, Hoffman converted his 29th consecutive save opportunity in a 7–4 win over the Houston Astros. He passed Franco for second place on the all-time saves list with his 425th save, and the Padres maintained a six-game lead in the NL West with a 63–63 record. The Padres won the NL West with an 82–80 record, and Hoffman finished the season 43 for 46 in save opportunities, the second most saves in the NL. The Padres were swept 3–0 in the playoffs by the Cardinals, who had a majors-best 100–62 record in the regular season. Hoffman did not get into any save situations as the Padres never led through any of the 27 innings in the series.
As a free agent after the 2005 season, Hoffman re-signed with the Padres after negotiating with the Cleveland Indians. Hoffman signed a $13.5 million, two-year contract that included a club option for 2008. "It came down to me making a decision for my family and not disrupting what we have going on", said Hoffman. "This is probably the most significant signing that I've had", said then-Padres general manager Kevin Towers. "This guy is the face of our organization. I can't put into words what he means to our community."
In 2006, Hoffman was named to his fifth All-Star game, but was the losing pitcher in the game after having two strikes with two outs to Michael Young, who was later named the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. His All-Star performance bothered him, and he suffered two of his five blown saves that year in the week that followed. August 20 marked Hoffman's 776th outing for the Padres, breaking the Pirates Elroy Face's major league record for most relief appearances with one club. On September 24 in the Padres last home game of the year, Hoffman retired eventual 2006 NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez for the final out of a 2–1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, keeping the Padres 1 1⁄2 game lead atop the NL West with seven games left to play. With the save, Hoffman became the all-time Major League saves leader, surpassing Lee Smith's record of 478. As the Padres celebrated on the mound with Hoffman, the Pirates remained in the dugout watching in respectful salute. "I've never seen a crowd get into one inning for one guy like that before", said Pirates reliever John Grabow. "You get goose bumps even if you are on the other team." The Padres presented Hoffman with a golden bell trophy, a reference to "Hells Bells".
Hoffman saved a 3–1 win over the Diamondbacks on September 30 as the Padres to clinched a playoff berth. The next day in the last regular season game, two home runs were hit off Hoffman before he saved a 7–6 win over the Diamondbacks, earning the Padres their second consecutive NL West title. He was named MLB Delivery Man of the Month for September after being 10 for 11 in save opportunities and striking out 13 batters over 12.0 innings and allowing only seven hits. Hoffman saved 46 of 51 save chances on the year, and led the NL in saves for the second time. His 11th 30-save season set an MLB record, while his eighth 40-save season extended his record. His season save total was the second highest in his career. Hoffman won the Rolaids Relief Award for the second time in his career, was awarded The Sporting News NL Reliever of the Year for the third time, and finished as the runner-up for the Cy Young Award for the second time. In the playoffs, the Padres faced the Cardinals in the NLDS again. Down 2–0 in the series, Hoffman saved Game 3 in a 3–1 win to avoid elimination. However, the Padres lost the series 3–1 as their offense managed only six runs in the four games against the eventual 2006 World Series champions.
On April 28, 2007 in a 3–2 win over the Dodgers, Hoffman earned a save and pitched in his 803rd game for the Padres, breaking the MLB record for games pitched for one team. The record was previously held by both Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators and Elroy Face of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On June 6 against the Dodgers, Hoffman became the first pitcher in MLB history to log 500 saves after the Padres' 5–2 victory. Hoffman was awarded the MLB Delivery Man of the Month for May after converting all 11 of his save opportunities and allowing no earned runs in 13 games. On July 1, Hoffman was named to the NL All-Star Team for the sixth time in his career. On September 8 against the Colorado Rockies, Hoffman struck-out Todd Helton swinging on a 74-mph change-up for his 1,000th career strikeout, becoming the eighth reliever to reach the mark. On September 27, Hoffman picked up his 40th save of the 2007 season, marking his ninth season with 40 saves, a Major League record. On September 29, one strike away from clinching the Padres third consecutive playoff berth, Hoffman surrendered a tying, two-out triple in the ninth inning to Tony Gwynn, Jr., son of legendary Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The Padres would lose 4–3 in the 11th inning to the Milwaukee Brewers. On October 1, in the Padres' wild card tie-breaker game against the Rockies, Hoffman blew his second straight save opportunity and his team's 8–6 lead in the 13th inning. He took the loss when he allowed the game-winning run to score on a sacrifice fly. For the season, he converted 42 saves in 49 opportunities while posting a 4-5 mark and 2.98 ERA. His 42 saves were the third most in the NL. A couple of weeks after the end of the season, Hoffman had minor arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow to remove bone chips. He said it was unrelated to his pitching performance at the end of the season.
Hoffman surrendered a home run but recorded his 550th save on August 14, 2008 in a 3–2 victory over the Brewers. On September 19, 2008, Hoffman finished an 11–6 14-inning win over the Washington Nationals for his 900th career MLB game. Hoffman's 30th and last save of the season, a 3–2 win over the Pirates, ensured the Padres would not lose 100 games that season. The Padres finished with a 63–99 record after being projected by the team and analysts to win 87–90 games. Hoffman ended the 2008 season 3–6 with a 3.77 ERA and 30 in 34 save opportunities. He tied for sixth in the NL in saves. Hoffman reached 20 or more saves for the 14th time to set a new MLB record. He had a 5.14 ERA through his first 29 appearances and a 1.56 ERA in his last 19 appearances of the season.
Hoffman, eligible for free agency, realized he was decreasing his leverage when he declared he wanted to return to play for San Diego in 2009 and did not want to move his family. Meanwhile, Padres owner John Moores, who was in the midst of a divorce and in the process of selling the team, ordered the team to reduce its payroll from its 2008 budget of $73.6 million to $40 million. It was announced on November 10, 2008, that Hoffman would not return to San Diego in 2009. With his struggles during the season, the cost-cutting Padres lowballed a $4 million offer with an option for 2010 and later retracted that, ending his tenure with the team. It was not an amicable parting for Hoffman, who was the face of the franchise after Tony Gwynn's retirement following the 2001 season. His 902 career appearances as a Padre extended his own MLB record for games pitched with one team.
On January 13, 2009, Hoffman signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. He suffered a strained muscle on the right side of his rib cage in Spring training, and started the season on the DL. He made his Brewers debut on April 27, 2009. Hoffman recorded his first save for Milwaukee the next day, and the Brewers continued with his "Trevor Time" entrance. He was named NL Pitcher of the Month as well as MLB Delivery Man of the Month in May after recording 11 saves in 12 scoreless appearances in the month. He started the season with 18 scoreless innings before entering in a tie game on June 14 and surrendering a run in a 5–4 loss against the Chicago White Sox.
Hoffman was selected as an All-Star in 2009 as a late replacement, making his seventh appearance.[note 2] On September 3, he struck out Albert Pujols on three pitches for his 30th save in the 4–3 win over St. Louis. The save extended Hoffman's record to 14 seasons with at least 30 saves. He had already increased his record of 20 or more saves to 15. Hoffman appeared in 55 games with the Brewers, recording 37 saves in 41 attempts with a 1.83 ERA and a .183 BAA. It was second lowest ERA of his career behind 1.48 in 1998 in San Diego, and he ranked fifth in the NL in saves. In the offseason, he re-signed with the Brewers for $8 million for 2010 with a mutual option for the 2011 season.
With less control on his changeup, Hoffman struggled in 2010. In April, Hoffman pitched nine innings and allowed 13 earned runs and six home runs—surpassing his totals in both categories from all of the previous season—and he blew four of his seven save opportunities. Historically though, Hoffman had blown 20 of 84 save attempts in April for his career, a 76.1 percent success rate, while converting 90.6 percent the rest of the season. On May 1, Hoffman earned his first save at Petco Park as a visitor, as the Brewers beat the Padres 2–1. After saving just five of his first 10 chances with an ERA over 12.00 in mid-May, Hoffman's struggles prompted Brewers manager Ken Macha to remove him as closer and move him into middle relief to work on his mechanics. Hoffman insisted that there was nothing physically wrong with him, and he served as a mentor for his replacement, John Axford. Stuck at 596 career saves before his demotion, Hoffman eventually returned to a setup role, and occasionally pitched in save situations. On September 7, 2010, he recorded his 600th save, and he was carried off the field by his teammates. "To be a part of it was great because of how much admiration we all have for Trevor", said teammate Craig Counsell. Hoffman finished the season win a 2–7 win–loss record, 10 saves in 15 chances, and a 5.89 ERA in 50 appearances, but he allowed just nine earned runs in his final 33 appearances dating back to June 3. He and the Brewers parted ways on November 2 when the club declined to exercise a $7 million mutual option on his contract.
In the offseason, Hoffman expressed interest in taking over the closer role for a team near his home in San Diego, but he did not wish to return as a setup pitcher and diminish his accomplishments. The Arizona Diamondbacks, where old friend and former Padres general manager Kevin Towers was the GM, considered Hoffman a backup option as their closer had they not managed to sign J. J. Putz. Hoffman believed he could still pitch in the big leagues, but with all of the closer roles for West Coast teams filled, He elected to retire, announcing his decision on January 11, 2011. He revealed that elbow tendinitis plagued him for most of the first half of 2010, though he never used it as an excuse for his performance. Hoffman had received three cortisone injections that year with the Brewers. Hoffman retired with 601 saves as the all-time saves leader in MLB history. He had no desire to sign a ceremonial one-day player contract to retire as a Padre. "I don't believe that's the right way [to retire]", said Hoffman.
The Padres retired Hoffman's No. 51 at Petco Park in a pre-game ceremony on August 21, 2011, against the Florida Marlins. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders declared it "Trevor Hoffman Day." The ceremony was patterned after the show This Is Your Life, featuring over 40 of Hoffman's former teammates and coaches. Brian Johnson, the lead singer on AC/DC's "Hells Bells", paid tribute in a video to Hoffman for "rocking the mound." In a nod to Hoffman's late father, Ed, the Padres presented Hoffman with a mint condition 1958 Cadillac convertible; his father loved driving his family in a convertible. For the National Anthem, the Padres played a video of Ed singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Fenway Park on Opening Day in 1981 when Hoffman's brother, Glenn, was the starting shortstop for the Red Sox.
In 2014, Hoffman became the ninth inductee into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame. He became eligible for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame starting in 2016. In his debut, he fell short of the 75 percent of votes required for entry, but the 67.3 percent he received as a first-year candidate was promising for induction in the future. In 2017, Hoffman received 74 percent of the vote, falling five votes short of induction. On January 24, 2018, Hoffman was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 79.9 percent of the vote. Soon thereafter, the Padres announced plans to unveil a bronze statue of Hoffman at Petco Park sometime around his July 29 induction into the Hall of Fame.
Hoffman was known for his high leg kick, the menacing glare through his cap pulled down almost to his eyes, and his deceptive changeup. When Hoffman first came into the league, he could throw up to 95 mph. He would also throw a slider and only an occasional changeup. His original changeup was a conventional circle changeup taught to him by Cincinnati scout Larry Barton. Hoffman learned a different changeup, which he throws with a palmball grip, from teammate Donnie Elliott in 1994. He began using the new changeup in 1995 when his fastball had dropped to 88–90 mph after his offseason injury on the beach. With the decrease in velocity, Hoffman knew he could not rely as much on his fastball. He played through 1995 and had surgery the following offseason for a torn rotator cuff. When he returned the following year, Hoffman's fastball was at 87–88 mph, but he had more experience with his new changeup. His fastball reached back as high as 91 mph in 1998, but by sometime after 2000 it dropped down to 83–88 mph. His repertoire by then included primarily of his changeup, a four-seam fastball, a slower cut fastball that moves in towards a left-handed batter, and the occasional slider and a curveball.
Hoffman explained the key to his changeup was how he pinched the seam of the ball with his thumb and index finger as he released it. He threw the changeup with the arm speed used to throw a fastball, and the spin and movement of the ball looked the same to the batter. His changeup ranged from 73–76 mph. Bruce Bochy, who managed Hoffman for over a decade with the Padres, said of Hoffman's changeup: "He pitched so well off his fastball [opponents] couldn't just sit on it every pitch." "You could be sitting on [his changeup] and still not be successful with it", says former player Mark Sweeney. It was the arm action on the change up and the late sink just before it reached the plate that allowed Hoffman to stay successful over the years. With opponents flailing to slow down their swings, teammates nicknamed Hoffman's changeup The Bugs Bunny Pitch after a famous Bugs Bunny cartoon episode. "Some [pitchers] fool you. Some guys overpower you. Hoffman embarrasses you", said former rival and later teammate Mike Piazza. After striking out on a changeup to end the game against Hoffman, Dodger catcher Paul Lo Duca said, "It's like it has a parachute on it." As Hoffman lost velocity on his fastball throughout his career, he compensated by maintaining a notable speed differential between that pitch and his changeup. He initially kept the grip of his changeup a secret. "I was a little weird about it", Hoffman said. "I didn't like talking about how I threw the change. I didn't want people to see how I gripped the ball. I thought I'd be giving away something to the hitters." Later in his career, he posed for pictures of his grip, figuring everyone had seen it.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Hoffman was the first one in and the last one out of the ballpark everyday. Hoffman adhered to a daily conditioning program. When pitcher Jeremy Fikac was promoted to the majors in 2001, Hoffman invited him to join him on his usual afternoon run. "I remember sitting in the bullpen that night, and my legs were still trembling from the run", Fikac recalled. "I'd run before, but not at that pace ... I was thinking, I hope they don't call on me because I can't feel my legs under me ... His work ethic is unbelievable." Bochy said, "[Hoffman's] one of those guys like Tony Gwynn—they never feel like they've arrived. Tony never thought, 'Well, I'm hitting .360 ... ' He was never content. And Trevor's the same way. They just keep working and make sure that they've got goals they want to reach." After every save opportunity, whether he converted it or blew it, Hoffman would sit in the dugout for up to five minutes after his teammates had cleared out. Whether it was the euphoria from success or the sting of failure, he would sit there and drain all the emotion out of himself, put the game behind him, and move on. Tracy Hoffman said, "He's all about order. That's the foundation to what he does. You see it when he's on the field. He's always the same, win or lose. He doesn't smile, doesn't show any emotion." Padres manager Bud Black marveled at Hoffman's regimen. "The daily preparation for his job, that focus and dedication each day to prepare for the ninth inning ... It was incredible to see live", said Black. "I played with George Brett, a Hall of Famer who was a great worker. But Trevor took it to a level and a commitment and Hall of Fame caliber." After Hoffman resurrected his final season and recorded his 600th save, Macha said Hoffman's "work ethic and perseverance paid off ... He had to grind it out to get there."
Hoffman was long regarded as one of the great teammates in baseball. He was known as a leader in the clubhouse and a tutor to younger players. He mentored his successor in San Diego, Heath Bell, and the pitcher who supplanted him in Milwaukee, John Axford. "Just watching him go about his business was a big thing to me", Bell said. In his first game pitching setup to Axford after losing his closer role, Hoffman stayed in the dugout to watch Axford finish. Many relievers retire back to the clubhouse after being removed from a game. Hoffman's teammates noticed that he stayed supporting Axford through a bases-loaded jam. Axford spent the season absorbing Hoffman's advice, and the two bonded. "He took young players under his wing, especially relief pitchers", said former Padres teammate Brad Ausmus. Hoffman regularly organized team dinners on the road or had team family gatherings at his home, whether it was with the Padres or the Brewers. "It's very unusual for a pitcher, especially a relief pitcher, to be the team leader", Padres first baseman Phil Nevin said in 2002, "but everybody here looks to Trevor. This is his team."
According to Ausmus, Hoffman wanted his teams to feel like a family. He felt like he let his family down if he did not do his job on a particular night. Still, he was accessible and held himself accountable on the rare occasions that he failed. Hoffman was more accommodating for interviews after blown saves than he was after successful ones. "The people asking the questions are not responsible for the ball flying out of the park", he explained. Both Towers and Black best remember Hoffman for his accountability after his blown save in the 2007 Wild Card tie-breaker.
"My greatest memory of Trevor is from game No. 163 in 2007. Seeing his passion for the Padres, his love for his teammates, and his devastation over the loss and then handling each reporter's question with the utmost class and professionalism ranks as my greatest sports memory. How he handled that incredible loss says more about him than any save could. Life is about how you handle adversity and what he demonstrated that night was just remarkable.— Warren Miller, Padres media relations director
Baseball people revere Hoffman for how he treats people. Ausmus says Hoffman goes out of his way to engage fans. Beyond shaking hands or signing autographs, he has extended conversations with fans who want to talk baseball. When Hoffman passed on the Indians in free agency to stay with the Padres, he still sent an autographed jersey as a baby gift to then-Indians manager Eric Wedge. After Hoffman saved the game to clinch the NL West on the last day of the 1996 season, he called Randy Smith, who traded for Hoffman as Padre GM before moving on to the Detroit Tigers. "Randy, I wish you were here", Hoffman said. "You're a part of this." While celebrating his record setting 479th save against the Pirates, Hoffman tipped his cap to the Pittsburgh dugout, particularly Pirates manager Jim Tracy, who managed Hoffman in Cincinnati's Double-A Chattanooga farm team in 1991 after he was converted to a pitcher. Despite losing his role as a closer in his final season, Hoffman took pleasure in supporting his teammates and "not being a cancer just because I was having trouble."
Hoffman dominated his position at a consistent level while enjoying incredible longevity over almost two decades. After an 18-year career, the seven-time NL All-Star retired as MLB's all-time leader in saves with 601. He was the first pitcher to reach not only the 500 save milestone, but also 600. He converted 88.8 percent of his save opportunities, the third-highest rate among players with 300 or more saves. Barry Bloom of MLB.com called Hoffman "the best National League closer of his era." Hoffman is one of only three pitchers who have had streaks of four straight seasons with at least 40 saves;[note 3] he achieved it twice. His nine seasons of 40 or more saves are tied for the most all-time. He became one of the Padres' most-popular players. His 15-year stint as their closer was rare for a baseball role that exhibited a high turnover rate.
Hoffman had 12 seasons with at least 37 saves, 13 seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA and 14 with an ERA+ of at least 130 (indicating that he was at least 30 percent better than the league average in ERA those years). Four times he was in the top six in voting for the Cy Young Award, including twice as a runner-up. Among pitchers to debut since 1969, he is one of only two ranked in the top 10 for lowest opponents' batting average against facing both lefties and righties.[note 4] Hoffman retired ranked first with 856 games finished, ninth with 1,035 games pitched, seventh-lowest in hits per nine innings (H/9) at 6.99, and seventh-best in strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB) of 3.69. He had a 2.87 ERA and 1.06 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) for his career.
Though he was not a power pitcher, Hoffman was a strikeout pitcher. His 9.36 K/9 was the fifth-highest in MLB history, and highest ever among relievers.[note 1] Sports journalist Fran Zimniuch wrote in Fireman: The Evolution of the Closer in Baseball that Hoffman was "a thinking man's closer, using guile rather than heat." As the velocity of his fastball decreased, he compensated with a devastating changeup that is as synonymous a pitch with Hoffman as the splitter is with Bruce Sutter or the cutter is with Mariano Rivera. "It's a tough situation throwing a change-up in the ninth inning, unless you've got Trevor's changeup", closer Billy Wagner said. "There's not many guys who have a changeup that's dominating", All-Star third basemen Scott Rolen said. "But his is dominating. It's a weapon. That's not usually a word you use with a changeup." Robb Nen, a retired closer, was amazed at how Hoffman got better after he lost velocity on his fastball. "I don't think I could do it, to just lose the ability to throw 95 and still be one of the best. I have tremendous respect for him", Nen said. Another retired closer, Troy Percival, concurred about the difficulty in transforming from a power pitching style. "It's not easy to do. Guys who throw 95, 96 [mph] have an ego about being able to do that. [Hoffman] just went right into, 'Hey, you know, I throw 87 now. This is what I've got.' And he goes out there and gets it done just as well as he ever did."
[Hoffman is] unique in the sense that what he does, closing, is usually a power pitcher's game. His change-up isn't just great, but dominating. What he does puts things in perspective. It's pitching, not just throwing, and using whatever stuff you have. He throws a pitch that looks so tempting that you can't lay off it. ... I feel vulnerable when I throw 93-96 mph. He's throwing 81 and doing it with full confidence.
During the time Hoffman held the career record for saves, many still considered Rivera the best closer of all time. Like many other relievers of his era, Hoffman was compared to Rivera and his success in the playoffs. While Hoffman had 601 regular-season saves, he only had four in the playoffs along with a 3.46 postseason ERA. He lacked the postseason opportunities and success of Rivera, who had 42 saves and an 0.70 ERA in the playoffs as the Yankees advanced to the postseason 17 times and won five World Series during his career. During Hoffman's tenure in San Diego, the Padres won at least 90 games only twice and had nine losing seasons, including five with no more than 70 wins. Hoffman, however, did blow a save opportunity in his only World Series appearance and also failed on save tries twice in the final three days of the 2007 season as the Padres vied for the playoffs. Rivera broke Hoffman's career save record in 2011, and finished his career with 652.
In 2014, Major League Baseball introduced the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, which is awarded annually to the top reliever in the NL. Hoffman was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, becoming the sixth member to be elected who was primarily a reliever during their career. Zimniuch wrote that Hoffman and Rivera are "the best of the best of the one-inning closers". Less than 10 percent of Hoffman's saves were over one inning. Closers as a whole have been criticized for pitching almost exclusively in the ninth inning with no runners on base, while star relievers previously were called firemen, entering games in the middle of innings with runners on base and capable of pitching multiple innings. After Hoffman retired, saves became devalued as a primary evaluator of closers, and his career numbers—including sabermetric statistics like Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Win probability added (WPA), and Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score (JAWS)—were more heavily scrutinized than for relievers elected before him. Still, his large volume of saves made him a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame. Some opponents of his induction maintained that his limited innings mitigated his impact compared to starting pitchers who have not been inducted, while others posited that those starters could have excelled as closers, but Hoffman would not have succeeded as a starter. Hoffman pitched 1,089 1⁄3 innings in his career, which topped only Sutter (1,042) among pitchers in the Hall of Fame. The two are the only Hall of Fame pitchers who never started a game.
Hoffman's entrance into games, accompanied by the playing of "Hells Bells", became popular among fans after it was introduced in 1998. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated wrote that Hoffman's "signature moment is one of the most electrically charged in sports: Padres fans rising and roaring, in Pavlovian fashion, upon hearing the first bell toll, the foreboding bonging like something out of Hitchcock as Hoffman enters slowly, stage right." Opposing closer Jason Isringhausen said, "'Hells Bells' in San Diego is Trevor. It's like when you go there, you want to [win] two out of three so you can hear it once." The initial introduction of Hoffman's entrance music was a forerunner in the heavy metal closer theme songs used throughout home stadiums. The San Diego Union-Tribune initially noted, "[Hoffman's] entrance was more suited to the World Wrestling Federation than the national pastime." By the end of Hoffman's career, San Jose Mercury News and ESPN.com wrote that the song should be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Other teams contacted the Padres for videos of the "Trevor Time" production. Yankees executives witnessing Hoffman's entrance in 1998 were inspired to use the song "Enter Sandman" for Rivera's entrance starting the following season.
|MLB Delivery Man of the Month Award||4[a]||May 2005, September 2006, May 2007, May 2009|
|Lou Gehrig Memorial Award||1||2006|
|National League All-Star||7||1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009|
|National League Pitcher of the Month||2||May 2005, May 2009|
|National League Rolaids Relief Man Award||2||1998, 2006|
|National League saves leader||2||1998, 2006|
|Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award||3||1996, 1998, 2006|
Statistics as of 2011 season
Coinciding with his retirement from playing in 2011, Hoffman returned to San Diego as a special assistant to Padres team president and COO Tom Garfinkel. "There's been a turnover of people [in the Padres front office] who wanted to reconcile and I've been cool with it. A couple of years definitely makes a big difference", said Hoffman. In addition to his front office role, he also served as an instructor during spring training. In 2014, Hoffman became San Diego's upper-level pitching coordinator, essentially an additional pitching coach for the Padres at their Double-A and Triple-A levels. His new role also involved assisting San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes. Under General Manager A. J. Preller in 2015, Hoffman became senior advisor for baseball operations, overseeing pitching instruction at all levels of the Padres' minor league system. Hoffman, whose mother was born in England, was the bullpen coach for the Great Britain team during the qualifying round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Hoffman met his wife, Tracy, in Buffalo, New York in 1992 where she was a real estate agent and a member of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad. He asked her to marry him in 1993 while she was on the field during Super Bowl XXVII, which the Buffalo Bills lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 52–17. Hoffman and his wife have three sons: Brody, Quinn, and Wyatt.
Hoffman donated $200 for every save to the National Kidney Foundation. In honor of his father, a former Marine, Hoffman annually paid for game tickets and meals for 1,000 members of the military and their families.
On Sunday, Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman will join Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome as the 2018 inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
With his high leg kick and cap pulled down almost to his eyes, Hoffman looks the part of someone about to wring the last bit of life out of the opposing team.
Hoffman was converted from shortstop to pitcher in the minor leagues when his manager got tired of him overthrowing first base.
After two years in the Minors and not much batting potential to show for it, his manager Jim Lett suggested Hoffman try pitching instead, because he had such a strong arm.
Hoffman was acquired as a rookie from the Florida Marlins in 1993 during the Padres' infamous "Fire Sale" that stripped away most of their high-paid veterans.
On July 25, 1998, a tradition began that continues to thrill crowds at Petco Park."
The Padres have taken to announcing Hoffman's entrance into the ballgame with a scoreboard shot of him running in from the bullpen, accompanied by the tolling of bells.
In the closest balloting for the award since 1987, Hoffman, the San Diego closer, received 13 first-place votes, but fell 11 points short of Glavine, who got 11 votes for first place, but appeared on three more ballots.
Wainwright became only the second pitcher to garner the most first-place votes and not win the award. In 1998, Atlanta's Tom Glavine collected 11 first-place votes to 13 for San Diego's Trevor Hoffman but amassed the most points, 98-88, and took home the trophy.
The closer ultimately delivered 43 pitches in a stint of two-plus innings, but Brown's nine-inning effort in Game 2 and Friday's day off, Hoffman said, gave his arm a chance to recover.
Listed below are the pitchers who have saved 30 or more games in a season for five or more consecutive campaigns.
Before Monday, he had been on the disabled list only once in his 16-year Major League career. Hoffman missed most of the 2003 season with a right shoulder injury that required surgery.
That broke Roy Face's all-time record for most relief appearances with one club (775 for the Pirates from 1953 to 1968).
Hoffman made the National League All-Star team six times as a Padre and was twice the runner-up (1998 and 2006) in the league's voting for the Cy Young Award.
Tony Gwynn Jr., son of the Hall of Famer whose statue stands outside the Padres' ballpark, hit a tying, two-out triple off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat San Diego 4-3 in the 11th on Saturday.
Holliday raced home on Jamey Carroll's shallow fly ball, capping a three-run rally against the all-time saves leader, giving the Rockies a 9-8 win in baseball's longest one-game tiebreaker.
But Hoffman, master of the changeup, had 12 seasons with at least 37 saves -- a winning career owing to a slow and steady approach, just as the tortoise in Aesop's fable.
He's blown 20 of 84 save attempts in April for his career —- a 76.1 percent success rate. The rest of the season, he's converted 531 of 586 attempts —- a 90.6 percent rate of success.
Trevor Hoffman was trying to earn his first Petco Park save as a visitor, and Bud Black and Adrian Gonzalez weren't there to take in the experience.
Hoffman, baseball's alltime saves leader with 596, has saved just five games in 10 chances with a 12.21 ERA.
Basically, it stopped at home plate. Guys hadn't seen a pitch like that, and they couldn't adjust to it. He pitched so well off his fastball they couldn't just sit on it every pitch.
There will be a lot of discussion over his struggles in the postseason and All-Star Games, but those small samples should be completely obscured by almost two decades of incredible regular-season excellence.
He makes it a point to stand at his locker and hold himself accountable on the rare occasions when he fails.
He is the best at what he does and has been for a long, long time. Any time anybody dominates a position (and these days, 'closer' is a position) the way he has done it consistently year after year after year, he gets my vote.
That's because closing is baseball's most volatile role.
Only two pitchers have had streaks of four straight seasons with at least 40 saves. Hoffman did it not once, but twice.
One of the big arguments used against him is utterly ridiculous. But here it is: He posted 601 regular-season saves. But just four postseason saves.
He blew a save opportunity in his only World Series appearance (1998 with the Padres) and also failed on two save tries in the final three days of the 2007 season, costing San Diego the playoffs.
I’ll never forget games I’ve covered at Petco Park when Hoffman trotted in from the bullpen to pitch the ninth inning to the ear-shattering sounds of AC/DC's Hell's Bells — perhaps some of the loudest, most electrifying crowd noise I’ve ever heard.
But you will see him emerging from the Miller Park bullpen to the ominous tolling of "Hell's Bells", the AC/DC anthem that first became synonymous with baseball's all-time saves leader during the Padres' 1998 World Series run.
The closer songs of the early '90s tended to mix a cranky bravado with the threat of mental instability—don't mess with me, I'm so mean and crazy.
The classic-rock entrance song began in 1998, becoming synonymous with a Padres victory often ending with a devastating changeup — Hoffman's out-pitch.
The 1995 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 113th season in the history of the franchise.1998 National League Championship Series
The 1998 National League Championship Series (NLCS), to determine the champion of Major League Baseball's National League, was played from October 7 to 14 between the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the West Division champion San Diego Padres.
The Braves entered the playoffs for the seventh straight season with a franchise-record 106 regular season wins, an offense that hit 215 home runs, and a pitching staff made up of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood to the playoffs. However, they also carried the baggage of their embarrassing NLCS loss to the Florida Marlins the previous season. In the NLDS, the Braves swept Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs.
After a 76–86 season in 1997, San Diego stormed out and took control of their division, finishing with a 98–64 record, their best in team history. The offense was led by the 50 home run club's newest member, Greg Vaughn, and by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The San Diego rotation was anchored by eighteen-game winner Kevin Brown, who helped Florida defeat Atlanta in the 1997 NLCS, along with All-Star Andy Ashby and the series MVP Sterling Hitchcock. Closer Trevor Hoffman saved an astounding 53 games in the regular season. The Padres defeated the favored Houston Astros in four games in the NLDS.
It was the seventh-consecutive NLCS appearance for the Braves and they would be heavily favored against the Padres.
The Padres would go on to the lose in a sweep to the New York Yankees in the World Series in four games.1998 National League Division Series
The 1998 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1998 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 29, and ended on Sunday, October 4, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
(1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 106–56) vs. (4) Chicago Cubs (Wild Card, 90–73): Braves win series, 3–0.
(2) Houston Astros (Central Division champion, 102–60) vs. (3) San Diego Padres (Western Division champion, 98–64): Padres win series, 3–1.The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which for the first time was determined by playing record. Also for the first time, the team with home field advantage played the first two games at home, with potentially Game 5 at home as well; previously, the team with the home field "advantage" had played the first two games on the road, with the possibility of the final three games at home. The Cubs had won the wild card spot through a one-game playoff with the San Francisco Giants, winning 5–3 on September 28.
The Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Padres defeated the Braves four games to two to become the National League champion, and lost to the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series.1998 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1998 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 116th season in the history of the franchise.1998 San Diego Padres season
The 1998 San Diego Padres season was the 30th season in franchise history. The Padres won the National League championship and advanced to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.
San Diego featured five All-Stars: pitchers Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, and Trevor Hoffman, and outfielders Tony Gwynn and Greg Vaughn. Brown and Hoffman were two of the premier pitchers in baseball for 1998. Brown led the staff in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts, and he also finished in the league's top five in each category. Hoffman saved 53 games and was voted the NL Rolaids Relief Man Award for best closer in the league. Ashby was the team's number two starter with 17 wins.
The Padres offense was led by Vaughn, who had the greatest season of his career in 1998. He ended up winning both the Comeback Player of the Year Award and the Silver Slugger Award. And in a season headlined by sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, Vaughn was matching them in home runs before finishing with 50 (compared to 70 for McGwire and 66 for Sosa). Former MVP Ken Caminiti was second on the team in home runs and runs batted in. Gwynn had a .321 batting average.
In the regular season, San Diego won the NL Western Division. Their 98-64 record was third-best in the league, behind only the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, who San Diego then went a combined 7-3 again in winning the NL pennant. But the Padres faced the 1998 New York Yankees in the World Series, and were swept, four games to none.2018 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2018 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players. The results were announced on January 24, 2018, with the BBWAA electing Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman to the Hall of Fame. Jones and Thome were elected in their first year of eligibility.The three voting panels that replaced the more broadly defined Veterans Committee following a 2010 rules change were replaced by a new set of four panels in 2016. The Modern Baseball Era Committee convened on December 10, 2017 to select from a ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport between 1970 and 1987, with Jack Morris and Alan Trammell elected by this body. The formal induction ceremony was held at the Hall's facilities in Cooperstown, New York on July 29, 2018.300 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 also 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 at least 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.Billings Mustangs
The Billings Mustangs are a minor league baseball team based in Billings, Montana. The Mustangs are the Pioneer League Rookie affiliate of the Major League Cincinnati Reds. The team has been a part of the Pioneer League since 1948 with a five-year gap between 1964 and 1968, and has been affiliated with the Reds since 1974 (after an affiliation with the Kansas City Royals). Along with the Elizabethton Twins, the Mustangs affiliation with the Reds is the longest-running among all rookie-level teams. The team was officially established on November 4, 1947.
The Mustangs play at Dehler Park, named after Jon Dehler, a Billings businessman who bought the naming right to the field in 2007. Prior to the 2008 season the Mustangs played at Cobb Field (named after Bob Cobb who was responsible for bringing professional baseball to the city of Billings). Cobb Field was demolished in September 2007 to make way for the new park.
The Mustangs won three consecutive Pioneer League titles from 1992 and 1994, then won another in 1997. In 2003, Billings swept the Provo Angels in the Championship Series, winning two games to none. Provo had tied the league record for wins that year with 54. Billings, the last team to qualify for the postseason, won Game 1 at Provo 8-5 in 11 innings, then, Billings won 3-0 on a no-hitter by James Paduch to win the Championship in front of a sold-out Cobb Field in Billings. The game was a classic pitchers duel between two of the top pitchers in the league (Provo's being 2003 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year Abel Moreno). In 2006, Chris Valaika set a Pioneer League record with a 32-game hitting streak during the Mustangs 51-win campaign.
Many Major League stars have begun their pro careers in Billings. These include George Brett, Reggie Sanders, Paul O'Neill, Trevor Hoffman, Keith Lockhart, Danny Tartabull, Ben Broussard, Scott Sullivan, Aaron Boone, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and B. J. Ryan.
After years of award-winning work in the front office, Assistant General Manager Gary Roller was promoted to General Manager for the 2005 season. Roller took over for long time GM and Mustangs Hall-of-Famer Bob Wilson. Matt Bender, who formerly handled the duties of Official Scorer, took over the vacated Assistant General Manager position.
Dehler Park (and before at Cobb Field) is renowned in the Pioneer League for the "Beer Batter" tradition. Every game the Mustangs Beer Boosters designate one player as the "Beer Batter." If that player gets a hit, attendees can buy four beers for $10. Many eager buyers stand at the stairs anticipating a hit and the oncoming rush of people.
The Billings Mustangs changed their logo for the 2006 season. The 2007 season was their last at Cobb Field and the Mustangs begin the 2008 season at Dehler Park. On September 11, 2014, the Mustangs defeated the Orem Owlz for their first Pioneer League Championship since the 2003 season.Branch Rickey Award
The Branch Rickey Award was given annually to an individual in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recognition of his exceptional community service from 1992 to 2014. The award was named in honor of former player and executive Branch Rickey, who broke the major league color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, while president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey also created the Knothole Gang, a charity that allowed children to attend MLB games.The award, created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, was first awarded to Dave Winfield in 1992 at their annual banquet. Each MLB team nominates one individual who best exemplifies the Rotary Club motto: "Service Above Self". A vote is then conducted by the national selection committee, which consists of members of the sports media, previous winners of the award, and Rotary district governors in major league cities. Proceeds of the banquet benefit Denver Kids, Inc., a charity for at-risk students who attend Denver Public Schools. Each winner receives a bronze sculpture of a baseball player measuring 24 inches (610 mm), named "The Player", designed by sculptor George Lundeen. A larger version of "The Player", standing 13 feet (4.0 m) tall, was erected at Coors Field in Denver.Winners of the Branch Rickey Award have undertaken different causes. Many winners, including Todd Stottlemyre, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, and Shane Victorino, worked with children in need. Stottlemyre visited and raised money for a nine-year-old girl who suffered from aplastic anemia and required a bone marrow transplant, while Moyer's foundation raised US$6 million to support underprivileged children. Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Curt Schilling, who raised money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Trevor Hoffman, who lost a kidney as an infant and devoted himself to working with individuals with nephropathy. Also, some winners devoted themselves to work with major disasters and tragedies. Bobby Valentine donated money to charities benefiting victims of the September 11 attacks, while Luis Gonzalez worked with survivors of Hurricane Katrina.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.Fosh (baseball)
The fosh, fosh ball, or fosh change is a seldom used pitch in Major League Baseball described as "a cross between a split-fingered pitch and a straight change-up". It is designed to fool a batter expecting a fastball to have to contend with a slower pitch. The pitch has a grip like a fastball, but the index and middle fingers are spread slightly across the baseball, and the ring and little finger wrap around the side of the ball. If thrown properly, it has characteristics like a breaking change-up or an off-speed split-finger fastball.
The origin of the fosh is unknown. Mike Boddicker was the first pitcher known to throw it, having tried it in the 1980s. As pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox, Al Nipper taught the pitch to Jeff Suppan in 1995, and Tom Gordon and Roger Clemens in 1996. Other pitchers who have used it in a game are Jason Frasor, Trevor Hoffman, Johan Santana,Jason Bere and Carl Pavano, and Carlos Rosa.There are various etymologies for the term "fosh". According to The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches, three derivations are known. One is that Earl Weaver described it as "a cross between a fastball and a dead fish". Another is a description by David Nied, who said the term sounds "like the perfect word for the movement of the pitch". A third derivation, from Al Nipper, is that fosh is an acronym for "full of ...".List of Major League Baseball career games finished leaders
In baseball statistics, a relief pitcher is credited with a game finished (denoted by GF) if he is the last pitcher to pitch for his team in a game. A starting pitcher is not credited with a GF for pitching a complete game.
Mariano Rivera is the all-time leader in games finished with 952. Rivera is the only pitcher in MLB history to finish more than 900 career games. Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith are the only other pitchers to finish more than 800 games in their careers.List of San Diego Padres team records
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in San Diego, California. The Padres were granted a Major League team in 1968, taking their name from the minor-league San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. Through May 16, 2015, they have played 7,365 games, winning 3,417, losing 3,946, and tying two for a winning percentage of .464. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenure as members of Major League Baseball's National League.
Tony Gwynn holds the most franchise records as of the end of the 2010 season, with 15, including best single-season batting average, most career hits, and most career triples. He is followed by Randy Jones, who holds thirteen records, including most career shutouts and the single-season loss record.
Trevor Hoffman is ranked fifth in Major League Baseball for most saves in a single season, while ranking second in all-time saves, recording 601 over his 18-year career. Offensively, Gwynn has the 18th highest hit total in Major League history, recording 3,141 hits over a 19-year Major League career.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.Palmball
In baseball, the palmball pitch is a type of changeup. It requires placing the baseball tightly in the palm or held between the thumb and ring finger and then throwing it as if throwing a fastball. This takes some of the velocity off the pitch, intending to make the batter swing before the ball reaches the plate.
Notable pitchers who have been known to throw the palmball include Steve Farr, Robinson Tejeda, Ed Whitson Edwar Ramírez, Dave Giusti, Bob Stanley, Orlando Hernández, Randy Martz, reliever Tony Fiore, Bryn Smith, Kenneth Brown and 1990s reliever Joe Boever. Philadelphia Phillies and former Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay was known to have thrown a palmball early in his career, though he rarely used it later on.
Second on the All-Time saves list, Trevor Hoffman, made his palmball changeup his "out" pitch.In earlier decades, the palmball was thrown by Ewell Blackwell, NL MVP winner Jim Konstanty, Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer, and Satchel Paige. In 1968, Red Sox starter Ray Culp turned his career around by developing a palmball. Culp went 16-6 in 1968 and topped the Red Sox in wins from 1968-70.Pittsburgh Pirates award winners and league leaders
This is a list of all awards won by players and personnel of the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball 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.Save (baseball)
In baseball, a save (abbreviated SV or S) is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances, described below. The number of saves, or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted, is an oft-cited statistic of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. It became an official Major League Baseball (MLB) statistic in 1969. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular season saves with 652.