Tag Archives: reliever

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!!!

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!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 146/660 – #527 – Mac Scarce, Phillies

1975 Topps Set Card 146/660 – #527 – Mac Scarce, Phillies

Progress: 146/660

Player Name:  Mac Scarce

Team:  Philadelphia Phillies

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  5 seasons, 1972-75, 1978

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Mac Scarce faced just one batter in 1975.  Pitching for the Mets, Scarce a hit to the lone batter he faced.

Notes From Career:  Mac Scarce played for three different teams during his brief 5-year career.  He appeared in 159 games during his career, posting a record of 6-19 with 21 saves.  He has a lifetime ERA of 3.69 and struck out 164 batters in 209 innings of work while allowing 192 hits and 96 runs.


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:



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.

Happy Birthday John Smoltz!!!

Happy Birthday John Smoltz!!!

John Smoltz turns 47 years old today!!!

One of the most versatile and team-oriented players to play the game in the last 20 years, John Smoltz is a rare breed. A player that is willing to accept any role that the team wants him to perform in, Smoltz personified what the ‘Team-First’ mentality is all about.

Smoltz has 213 career wins alongside 154 saves. Had he not spent 4 seasons in the bullpen during his days with the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz could have been in line to win 300 career games. Instead, he did what was asked of him and saved an incredible 154 games in 4 years for the ‘Bravos’.

Happy Birthday Smoltzy!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 100/660 – #21 – Rollie Fingers, A’s

1975 Topps Set Card 100/660 – #21 – Rollie Fingers, A’s

Progress: 100/660

Player Name:  Rollie Fingers

Card Number:  21

Team:  Oakland Athletics

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  In-Game Action

Years In The Major Leagues:  7 seasons, 1973-79

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Rollie Fingers appeared in a league-leading 75 games during the 1975 baseball season.  He had a record of 10-6 with 24 saves alongside his 2.98 ERA.  In 126 innings pitched, Fingers struck out 115 batters while walking just 33.  He had a strikeout per 9 innings of work ratio of 8.2 per 9 innings pitched.

Notes From Career: Fingers’ Hall of Fame career was punctuated by seven All-Star selections, an MVP Award and a Cy Young Award.  He has a career record of 114-188 with a 1.96 ERA and 341 saves.  Fingers struck out 1,299 batters during his playing days and has a strikeouts:walk ratio of 2.64:1.  He won three World Series titles with the A’s from 1972-74.


1975 Topps Set Card 99/660 – #582 – Eduardo Rodriguez, Brewers

1975 Topps Set Card 99/660 – #582 – Eduardo Rodriguez, Brewers

Progress: 99/660

Player Name:  Eduardo Rodriguez

Card Number:  582

Team:  Milwaukee Brewers

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Action

Years In The Major Leagues:  7 seasons, 1973-79

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Rodriguez appeared in 43 games for the Brewers in 1975, finishing 24 of them.  He compiled a record of 7-0 with 7 saves.  He had an ERA of 3.49 in 87 innings of work while striking out 65 batters.

Notes From Career:  Rodriguez was used as both a starter and reliever over the course of his 7-year career.  He has a career record of 42-36 with 32 saves.  Rodriguez has a lifetime ERA of 3.89 with 430 strikeouts.


1975 Topps Set Card 81/660 – #396 – Fred Norman, Reds

1975 Topps Set Card 81/660 – #396 – Fred Norman, Reds

Progress: 81/660

Player Name:  Fred Norman

Card Number:  396

Team:  Cincinnati Reds

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Action

Years In The Major Leagues:  16 seasons, 1962-64, 1966-67, 1970-80

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Norman went 12-4 in 26 starts for the Reds in 1975.  He also had 2 complete games thrown during that season.  In 188 innings of work, Norman achieved an ERA of 3.73 with 119 strikeouts thrown while walking 84 batters.

Notes From Career:  A journey-man, Norman suited up for 7 teams during his 16 year major league career.  He has a lifetime record of 104-103 with 56 complete games, 15 shutouts, and 8 saves.  Norman was a member of the ‘Big Red Machine’ pitching staff and won World Series titles in both 1975 and 1976 with the club.