Trevor Hoffman Notches Save No. 600

September 7, 2010 – 10:18 pm by Ryan Phillips

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.

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  1. 9 Responses to “Trevor Hoffman Notches Save No. 600”

  2. Trevor hoffman might be one of the greatest,
    however he never played in the american east
    where you have to play boston the rays, toronto
    and others 19 times plus the other teams in the american league.Nor he has the lifetime era that mariano has or the record and scoreless innings in the playoffs.Finally the
    0.83 life time era in world series, in witch
    Hoffman was destroyed by the Yankeeees, So you shutup(Get the facts before you make a fool out ofyour self).
    A YANKEEEE Fan.

    By ricardo caballero on Sep 8, 2010

  3. Dear Ricardo,

    Until two years ago, the Rays were shit, and the Blue Jays and Orioles (who you manage to forget about) have been shit nearly all of Rivera’s career. Don’t bring your AL East cum swallowing bullshit here.

    Is Rivera good, yes, is he better than Hoffman, not yet.

    -The Management

    By Anonymous on Sep 8, 2010

  4. to preface, i am neither a fan of hoffman or rivera — i do respect both very much, however.
    mariano rivera is assuredly a better closer. hoffman likely earned a fair number of saves due to the poor quality of the padres throughout the years resulting in 1 and 2 run games. rivera has been on the best team of the past 15 years, which at times, does not leave much room for save opportunities.
    you only mention a couple of numbers in this blog. 600 saves and hoffman having two more 30-save seasons than rivera. rivera has 29 saves as of today and a 1.07 era — make that 13 30-save seasons and counting. hoffman, on the other hand, is sporting a lovely 6.09 era with a legendary 9 saves – make that 14 30-save seasons for his career.
    hoffman does have a higher career conversion percentage, but he also has a career 61-75 record. rivera is 74-54.
    hoffman is a 7x all star, 2x rolaids relief man winner and a 2x saves champion. rivera is an 11x all star, 5x rolaids winner, 3x dhl delivery man winner, 1999 w.s. mvp, 2003 alcs mvp, and a 5x w.s. champion.
    rivera has done it all in the al east — not the nl west. as an nl west fan, i’ve seen some pretty poor groups of teams fighting for the division title. pitching against the best and pitching against the rockies of the 90s is a big difference.
    rivera faces people like david ortiz in clutch situations — hoffman faces pitchers or pinch hitters like eric byrnes.
    you talk about longevity, hoffman is all but done at 42, while rivera is still killing the al east at 40. rivera is playing a major role on his terms and hoffman is struggling to remain relevant on a team with one of the worst staffs in baseball.
    sorry man, hoffman has more saves, but rivera has more hardware — both individually and as a teammate.
    no doubt, hoffman is a great guy and (was) a great closer, but to say he is the best of all time is just too far a stretch based solely on 600… especially when rivera is still playing on his terms and is only 45 saves shy of that mark.
    also, hoffman has been a fulltime closer since ’94. rivera started his role in ’97. do the math, hoffman had 3 extra seasons to build a 93 save lead and is now only 45 up.

    -ao

    By ao on Sep 8, 2010

  5. also, congratulations are in order for hoffman for hitting the mark. great stuff.

    By ao on Sep 8, 2010

  6. That was a nice sentiment from Trevor’s mom.

    By astro on Sep 8, 2010

  7. ao,
    While I understand your point, you also have to realize that because his team wasn’t as good, Hoffman also had to close more one-run games as opposed to two or three-run games.

    Also, you said Rivera has to face David Ortiz and that hitters in the NL West were weaker during Hoffman’s time. Um, how about Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, Mike Piazza in his prime, etc. What about also having to pitch at Coors Field or Chase Field, two notorious hitters’ parks?

    See you can dredge up anything to make your point. To me, it is an open and shut case. Hoffman has more saves and a higher save percentage. Yes, he had a bad year this season but he’s also about to turn 43.

    Also, when you don’t have an amazing offense behind you, every inning you pitch is that much more important. Rivera has never had to deal with that.

    That’s not to take anything away from Rivera, I think he’s 1b. to Hoffman’s 1a.

    By Phillips on Sep 8, 2010

  8. we love trevor here in san diego. he’s a great guy and we trusted him in the ninth.

    By rhoades on Sep 9, 2010

  9. I’ll never forgive the Padres for getting rid of Trevor. We all know baseball is a business, but Trevor is a class act for fans and for all of baseball. Congratulations Trevor!

    By minskigal on Sep 12, 2010

  10. The whole debate between Hoffmann and Rivera as the best closer makes for great conversation. There are many points to argue both sides of the debate.
    But my big question is: Where were all the sports writers? Was ESPN even there to recognize Hoffmann’s accomplishment? Just because he’s having a below-average year and plays for a team with a less than stellar record, does that mean his record is any less worthy of recognition? I’m guessing there will be plenty more interviews when (and if) Rivera surpasses Trevor’s 600. C’mon people, give the guy the respect his efforts deserve.

    By mama b on Sep 13, 2010

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