Hall of Fame-Who Could Have Imagined This?”
“Baseball Hall of Fame-Who Could Have Imagined”
Hell’s Bells-what a day for a great pitcher and a great person.
Trevor Hoffman, legendary closer, now a Baseball Hall of Famer.
Not bad for a (.211) hitting shortstop, who could not hit a curvball.nor a slider, but sure could sure throw them.
The Cincinnati Reds didn’t see anything in him. The Miami Marlins didn’t have the patience to grow him.
Then Padres GM-Randy Smith, and then Kevin Towers, both saw special qualities, physically and mentally, to allow him to grow on the job. The Gary Sheffield for Trevor Hoffman trade sure did work out.
The Padres, for all their failures, should be credited for identifying the roles of various pitchers. The first to do it, they developed the philosophy of setup men in baseball. Look at what the game has become.
He rode those pitches, and 601-saves and his (2.87ERA) into Cooperstown. Number two on the all time saves list, probably a never to be challenged again total, second only to Mariano Rivera of the Yankees.
The stats are staggering. The first ever to get to 500-saves…the first to get to 600-career saves. 41-saves in a row. 10-times he recorded 40-saves or more in a season.
19-years in the majors, 16-years a Padre. He helped reinvent the role of pitches who come out of the bullpen
Humble, modest, reserved, classy, and now about to be enshrined.
Memories of the music blaring as he came out of the bullpen. Memories of watching him buckle the knees of power hitters with his breaking stuff. Watching him answer all questions whether it was after a great day, or an odd bad day.
And memories of the Yankees sweeping the Padres four straight in the Fall Classic, but fans at Jack Murphy Stadium refusing to allow Hoffman and his teammates to leave the field, with a standing ovation that went on and on and on, on a day they were eliminated.
And now just think, there will be a spotlight shining on his plaque in Cooperstown, just like there is one shining on the gold plaque shining honoring Tony Gwynn in that same hallway.
The best part of Trevor Hoffman, aside from the saves, wins, and his stay with the Padres, is this.
Hoffman-Hall of Fame-it is forever in Cooperstown.