This one is really personal for a few of us here at Rumors and Rants. Trevor Hoffman, the best closer in baseball history (shut up Yankees fans) got career save No. 600 tonight in Milwaukee.
For Hoffman, it’s an amazing mark. He became the first closer to reach that number in what may be his final season. Hoffman is a guy who always worked harder than everyone else to maintain his longevity. On the MLB Network following the game, John Smoltz said he wasn’t sure anyone in baseball worked harder than Hoffman.
Not only is Hoffman a guy who has always been as good a guy as he has been a pitcher, and tonight it showed. The Milwaukee Brewers celebrated like they had won the pennant after Hoffman got the final out. The crowd at Miller Park was as loud as a playoff game at the end, and the St. Louis Cardinals remained on the top step of their dugout after the game was over to salute Hoffman.
That’s all you need to know about what Trevor Hoffman has meant to baseball and what kind of ambassador he has been for the game. He’s been a mentor to every young player he has run in to, including Heath Bell, who became his successor in San Diego. The guy defines class.
As a San Diego Padres fan, I’ve known that for years, but unfortunately Hoffman never really got the publicity he deserved.
Most people probably don’t know that he has more 30 save seasons than anyone in baseball history. Yeah, he has 14 such seasons. Mariano Rivera is second with 12.
Hoffman has gotten it done over the years with arguably the best straight change-up in the history of the game, and a fastball that never topped the low 90s, and sat in the mid to upper 80s for most of his career.
Hoffman is more than his chills-inducing entrance and a great change-up. He’s simply the best to ever toe the slab in the late innings.
Congratulations Trevor. You’ve earned it.