Tag Archives: 50 saves

Happy Birthday Dennis Eckersley!!!

Happy Birthday Dennis Eckersley!!!

Dennis Eckersley turns 60 years old today.

The man simply known as ‘The Eck’ was one of baseball’s brightest stars in the 1970’s and carried his success through 24 seasons as a big league player.  Dennis Eckersley began his career as a starting pitcher.  In fact, one of the game’s greatest relief pitchers in the history of baseball was a starter during his first 12 seasons.  As a starter, ‘Eck’ did well as he had (9) 10+ win seasons in 12 years.  That all changed in 1987 when Eckersley was traded to the Oakland A’s and was converted into a closer for the Athletics.  ‘Eck’ began to dominate.  And in 12 seasons after that trade, he piled up 387 saves.  Eckersley’s best season came in 1992 when he won the league’s MVP and Cy Young awards.  In ’92 he pitched 80 innings and saved 51 games.  With an ERA of just 1.91 and the control to strikeout 93 batters while walking just 11 and it is easy to see why ‘Eck’ was tagged as one of the best closers in baseball history.  Dennis Eckersley finished in the top 7 for the Cy Young award 6 times in his career – 4 of which came as a closer.

Eckersley has played in 11 post season match-up and 3 World Series championships.  He won the title with the Oakland A’s in 1989 and finished his career with 1 championship ring and 15 saves in post season play.

Happy Birthday ‘Eck’!!!

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!!!

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.

1987 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Traded To Oakland A’s

1987 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Traded To Oakland A’s

On this day in 1987, the Chicago Cubs traded future Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley to the Oakland Athletics.

As part of a 5-player, 2-team trade, Eckersely and Dan Rohn were shipped to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Brian Guinn, Dave Wilder, and Mark Leonette.

Now I don’t know about you, but I would have to say that the A’s got the better end of that deal… You agree, right?? 🙂

Happy Birthday Dennis Eckersley!!!

Happy Birthday Dennis Eckersley!!!

Dennis Eckersley turns 59 years old today.

The man simply known as ‘The Eck’ was one of baseball’s brightest stars in the 1970’s and carried his success through 24 seasons as a big league player.  Dennis Eckersley began his career as a starting pitcher.  In fact, one of the game’s greatest relief pitchers in the history of baseball was a starter during his first 12 seasons.  As a starter, ‘Eck’ did well as he had (9) 10+ win seasons in 12 years.  That all changed in 1987 when Eckersley was traded to the Oakland A’s and was converted into a closer for the Athletics.  ‘Eck’ began to dominate.  And in 12 seasons after that trade, he piled up 387 saves.  Eckersley’s best season came in 1992 when he won the league’s MVP and Cy Young awards.  In ’92 he pitched 80 innings and saved 51 games.  With an ERA of just 1.91 and the control to strikeout 93 batters while walking just 11 and it is easy to see why ‘Eck’ was tagged as one of the best closers in baseball history.  Dennis Eckersley finished in the top 7 for the Cy Young award 6 times in his career – 4 of which came as a closer.

Eckersley has played in 11 post season match-up and 3 World Series championships.  He won the title with the Oakland A’s in 1989 and finished his career with 1 championship ring and 15 saves in post season play.

Happy Birthday ‘Eck’!!!

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!!!

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Dennis Eckersley VS John Smoltz

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Dennis Eckersley VS John Smoltz

If you were to ask my to name two of my favorite pitchers from the last 30 years, the names of Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz would certainly be in the mix.

And these two dominant starting pitchers turned closers have quite a bit in common when it comes to dominance on the field.

And in my eyes, but are extremely undervalued even with all of the attention and fame that has come their way.

But, let’s get back to my comment about how similar these two guys are.

Take a look at the numbers:

Eckersley Smoltz
Seasons 24 21
Wins 197 213
20-Win Seasons 1 1
Win % 53.5 57.9
Complete Games 100 53
Saves 390 154
30-Save Seasons 4 0
40-Save Seasons 3 2
50-Save Seasons 1 1
ERA 3.5 3.33
WHIP 1.161 1.176
Strikeouts 2,401 3,084
Walks 738 1,010
K:Walk 3.25 3.05
K:9 Innings 6.6 8
All-Star 6 8
Cy Young 1 1
MVP 1 0
Postseasons 7 14
WS Titles 1 1

*

I told you that they had some things in common…

The standout numbers for me:
* Eck’s career complete games is unreal, but it also speaks to the style of ball played when he was a starter
* In four seasons as a closer, Smoltz averaged 38.5 saves per year, he then returned back to the starting lineup and went 14-7, 16-9, and 14-8 in his next three seasons
* incredibly close ERA and WHIP
* Smoltz dominates in strikeouts despite pitching just 180 more innings
* Smoltz crushes in K’s per 9 innings despite that being Eck’s signature with Oakland
* Very surprised to see Eck have a higher K:Walk ratio

So, who is the better pitcher?  Who has accomplished more?

Well, according to BaseballReference.com, Eck wins the battle as they have him ranked as the 28th best pitcher of all-time, with Smoltz taking the 31st spot.  They also have Orel Hershiser in 26th so take that for what it is worth…

But when I compare these two very talented pitchers, I have to give the slight edge to Eckersley – and it is by a very thin margin; the thinnest since I have introduced this new head-to-head format.

My reasons?  Well, for me it came down to longevity at  both roles – and long-lasting dominance at both as well.  For Eck, he does not get the credit he deserves for being a solid starting pitcher.  He started for the first 12 years of his career, averaging 12 wins a year on some lousy teams.  Smoltz may have averaged more wins per year, but he played on the team of the decade and had a huge offense to rely on for run support.  Eckersley’s 3.25 K:Walk ratio is well above the mendoza-line as well (3.0:1.0) and is surprisingly higher than that of Smoltz, who was known as the power pitcher from the Braves dynasty of the 1990’s.

Lastly, Dennis Eckserlsey is considered to be one of the finest closers of all-time.  When naming them, he is always present – and usually sets in the Top 3 without much argument.  With Smoltz, for as dominant as he was with the Braves, there was a lot of competition for the top spot among starting pitcher during his prime.  Would he get a vote or two? Sure, but so would a dozen other guys.

ECKERSLEY VS SMOLTZ

So, when you compare the careers of Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz, how do you rank them?   Is one far better than the other in your eyes or do you, too, think that the match-up  is close like I do??

I’m eager to get your thoughts on this one!  Let me hear it.

Dennis Eckersley 2002 Topps Archives Reserve – 1993 Topps Design

Dennis Eckersley 2002 Topps Archives Reserve – 1993 Topps Design

I haven’t picked up too many cards of Dennis Eckersley since I completed my player collection of him several months ago.

It is not for a lack of interest, I just would not know where to start.

Actually, I do.  I would only go after cards of him wearing his A’s uniform.  That is the ‘Eck’ that I know; and that is the ‘Eck’ that more than likely landed him in the Hall of Fame.

I was able to pick up this card of Dennis Eckerlsey for just fifty cents.

And I would say that it was well spent!!

VINATGE ECKERSLEY

1987 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Traded To Oakland A’s

1987 HEADLINE: Dennis Eckersley Traded To Oakland A’s

On this day in 1987, the Chicago Cubs traded future Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley to the Oakland Athletics.

As part of a 5-player, 2-team trade, Eckersely and Dan Rohn were shipped to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Brian Guinn, Dave Wilder, and Mark Leonette.

Now I don’t know about you, but I would have to say that the A’s got the better end of that deal… You agree, right?? 🙂

Dennis Eckersley 2005 Donruss Team Heroes

Dennis Eckersley 2005 Donruss Team Heroes

I have not picked up too many cards of Dennis Eckersley since I completed my player collection of his last year.

It’s not for lack of effort, I have simply had my eyes on other things….

But, when recently scanning through a quarter box of cards at the local card shop, this one made me stop.

Have a peek:

VINTAGE ECKERSLEY

The card is sharp.  The Green really stands out, and I like the design – it works very well with the photo of Eckersley that was chosen.