Tag Archives: closer

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader

The familiar opening guitar riff and drum beat from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared, and what has become perhaps the most legendary custom in the Yankees’ rich history commenced.

As the door to the outfield bullpen opened and Mariano Rivera appeared, the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. It would grow louder still through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet another save. This one, the 602nd of his career, was one for the record books.

In preserving New York’s 6-4 victory against the Twins on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Rivera eclipsed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball’s all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, trims New York’s playoff magic number to four and the club’s magic number to win the American League East to five.

It’s the seventh time in Rivera’s illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009), as he continues to build on yet another 40-save year. Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera’s eight 40-save seasons.

It was the right-hander’s 290th save at home and 32nd against the Twins.

1988 HEADLINE: Bruce Sutter Notches Career Save #300

1988 HEADLINE:  Bruce Sutter Notches Career Save #300

On this day in 1988, Bruce Sutter recorded the 300th and final save of his career.

With a career that spanned just 12 big league seasons, Sutter was the master of the ‘close’ for the majority of that time.  He recorded double-digit saves in 11 of his 12 seasons while eclipsing 27 saves in a season 6 different times.  He also amassed a win-loss record of 68-71 during that time.

Sutter’s Hall of Fame career lands him in 21st place on the all-time list for career saves.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Sutter!!!!

Happy Birthday Rollie Fingers!!!

Happy Birthday Rollie Fingers!!!

Rollie Fingers turns 68 years old today.

While Rollie Fingers may best be known for his famous facial hair, his solid baseball career earned him quite a bit of fame too.

A 17-year veteran, boasting 341 career saves and seven All-star appearances, Fingers was a dominant relief pitcher for more than a decade.

His best work was during the 1981 season while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers.  In that season, Fingers posted a 6-3 record while also collecting 28 saves.  He had a 1.04 ERA with 78 innings pitched.  And in those appearances he struck out 61 batters while walking just 13.  Fingers’ dominance was enough to earn him the league’s Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards – a truly remarkable feat!!

Rollie Fingers is a 3-time World Series champion.  His efforts on the 1972-74 Oakland A’s teams help the team from ‘The Bay’ become one of baseball’s greatest dynasties!!!

With such an impressive resume, it is kind of shocking that Fingers has a losing record.  For his career, he is 114-118.  So for his birthday, I would like to give Mr. Fingers a ‘do-over’ of the 1978 season in which he went 6-13.  I am hoping for 5 more wins than losses so this Hall of Famer could hold his head even a little higher with his above .500 winning percentage!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Fingers!!!

1992 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Sets Record With 40 Saves In 4 Straight Seasons

1992 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Sets Record With 40 Saves In 4 Straight Seasons

On this day in 1992, Dennis Eckersley recorded his 40th save of the 1992 baseball season.

And while there was nothing extra-special about this particular game or the circumstance of the save, ‘Eck’ made history with this closing appearance.  This save gave Eckersley 40 or more saves in four different seasons – a major league record!!

The first player to ever accomplish this feat, ‘Eck’ tallied 45 saves in 1988, 48 in 1990, 43 in 1991, and 52 in 1992.  And with 33 saves during the 1989 season, Eckersley capped that 5-year span with 221 total saves.

Truly dominant and a great competitor.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Eckersley!!!

1982 HEADLINE: Rollie Fingers Captures Career Save #300

1982 HEADLINE: Rollie Fingers Captures Career Save #300

On this day in 1982, Rollie Fingers captured the 300th save of his major league baseball career.

Coming off of a Cy Young and MVP season in 1981, Fingers and the Brewers were riding high in 1982.  And as the team led their division heading into the last month of the season, several of the Brewers’ top players were performing at their peak – Fingers included.

On this night, in Seattle and in front of 20,000 fans, Fingers added another baseball milestone to his already impressive resume.  Save #300 came as he preserved the 3-2 victory over the Mariners.

Fingers’ stat line looked like this – 2 innings pitched, 3 hits allowed, 2 runs allowed, and 1 strikeout.  Not the most impressive stuff on this night, but a victory and a save nonetheless.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Rollie Fingers!!!

Dennis Eckersley 2014 Topps Archives – Base

Dennis Eckersley 2014 Topps Archives – Base

While I have yet to see each and every of the 200 base cards that make up the 2014 Topps Archives set, I have to say that I like the images used most within the 1973 Topps design.

Not only does this design allow for a very large image to be the center of attention, but the small accent pieces usually work very well with the theme of the action at hand.

In a recent shopping spree in which I picked up a small stack of cards from the Archives set, I scooped up the card of Dennis Eckerlsey.

And I am glad that I did – it looks G-R-E-A-T!!

Have a look:

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I told you – a very sweet baseball card.

And while normally I would want the image to match the year (or close to) that the original card was issued, this one gets a pass because ‘Eck’ did not make his debut until a few seasons later in 1976.

Mariano Rivera 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

Mariano Rivera 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

When I got back into the hobby of baseball card collecting in the summer of 2008, my goal was to pay homage to the players that helped build my love for the game and the hobby.

The first subset I put together that helped me with that cause was the ‘Super Veterans’ subset from the 1983 Topps baseball card set.  This set is a beauty and it highlights the true legends of the game as their careers were winding down.

For the last few years, I have actively been begging Topps to bring this subset back and pay honor to today’s ‘Super Veterans’.  And while I cannot confirm that they obliged my request, I was very excited to see that a 15-card ‘Super Veterans’ subset was part of the 2014 Topps Series 1 release.

I am building the set now.  Here is the card of Mariano Rivera:

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Mariano Rivera closed his grand 19-season big league career at the end of the 2013 baseball season.

He retired as career leader in saves with 652.  He has a record of 82-60 with an ERA of 2.21.

Rivera is a 13-time All-Star.  In 1283+ innings of work, he struck out 1,173 batters.  He has an all-time K:Walk ratio of 4.1:10.  And he has a K per 9 innings average of 8.2.

Mariano Rivera has been to the postseason in 16 of his 19 major league seasons.  He has pitched in 7 World Series match-ups and has won five titles.  He has a record of 8-1 in the postseason along with 42 additional saves.