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All-times saves leader Trevor Hoffman announces retirement

Jan 11, 2011, 5:15 PM EDT

trevor hoffman padres

Trevor Hoffman has decided to retire after 18 seasons and an MLB record 601 saves, the future Hall of Famer told Barry Bloom of MLB.com today.

As recently as last month Hoffman was looking for work as a free agent, but with no teams willing to guarantee him a shot at closing in 2011 the 43-year-old right-hander called it quits and will instead take a front office job with the Padres.

It’s time to retire. It’s time to move on. This is more of a self-evaluation. I expect to pitch at a certain level and I had to be honest with myself that I wasn’t certain I could maintain that anymore.

Bloom notes that Hoffman and the Padres had a difficult parting of ways in 2008, but after spending two seasons with the Brewers he’s ready to put that behind him and return to organization he called home for 16 years. Hopefully they’ll begin the press conference by playing his entrance music: “Hells Bells” by AC/DC.

Hoffman was a seven-time All-Star who twice finished runner-up in the NL Cy Young voting and racked up 40-plus saves in nine different seasons, which is an MLB record. He’s the all-time leader with 601 saves, putting him 42 ahead of Mariano Rivera and more than 300 ahead of any other active pitcher. In other words Hoffman will be first or second all time in saves when he goes into Cooperstown, presumably five years from now.

Not bad for a guy who was drafted as a shortstop and didn’t become a full-time closer until age 26.

  1. uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Once the 2011 season begins Trevor Hoffman will be the All Time Saves Leader for about 13 or 14 months before Rivera passes him.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 11, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      And that’s only because we’ll score too many runs to set up a “save” situation. If he were in the NL with their 1-0 games, he would have 842,616 by now.

  2. unclemax4 - Jan 11, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Duh !!!

  3. fribnit - Jan 11, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Relax and enjoy Mr Hoffman, you had a hell of a career.

  4. spokes310 - Jan 11, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    I can’t believe there are those out there even wondering if he’s an HOF’er. Hoffman had a brilliant career, was the absolute best at his position for about five years (before Rivera took over) and a complete class act.
    It seems like every closer has an “entrance theme” now. Hoffman actually deserved “Hells Bells.”
    And hey, no steroid speculation surrounding him, right? Of course, I’m sure some Hall of Fame voter will respond with “Well, you can’t be too sure.”

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 12, 2011 at 8:44 AM

      I don’t know whether he merits being in the Hall of Fame.

      “Closer” isn’t a position, you know. “Pitcher” is a position and Hoffman was not the absolute best pitcher during the past 18 years.

    • Adam - Jan 12, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      He did throw 85-86, he MUST have been using something.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jan 11, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    I’m not a person who feels closers, or any relievers are really HOF mat’l. If they were, they’d pitch 7 innings at least every 5-6 days. Go ahead, Chew me a new turd cutter, but it’s how I feel.

    If I did though, He’d be one of the few closers I’d have to say deserve it.

    • Old Gator - Jan 11, 2011 at 10:21 PM

      It’s too bad there’s such big outside chance he might have probably taken steroids, maybe. Otherwise he’d have my vote too.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 11, 2011 at 10:53 PM

        LOL! Perfect. I could probably use some myself. I hear they can help you get back into shape like real quick, which I’ll need after shoveling ten thousand lbs of snow out of my driveway tomorrow morning. For breakfast.

      • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2011 at 12:38 AM

        And that’s not all. I think the Hall of Fame ballot ought to have crosshairs printed over the names of those who potentially could possibly have somehow perhaps used steroids to make sure that hardly anyone votes for them.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Bad idea Gator. I think that’s been established. What about a big needle with a “?”. Fitting I say…

      • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2011 at 5:05 PM

        Just giving you a hard time for the fun of it, J5. But the love endures.

  6. Chris K - Jan 11, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I’m psyched because I managed to buy his page on Baseball Reference about 2 months ago.

  7. bigtrav425 - Jan 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    No question this guy is a 1st Ballot HoF ‘er

  8. BC - Jan 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    If Lee Smith can’t get in – who was more dominant and for longer than Hoffman – I don’t think Hoffman is going to get in. Hoffman had a roughly 4 year stretch where he was unhittable. Other than that, he was basically an accumulator – quite good, but not dominant. I don’t know about this one. Personally, I’d give him my vote, but I think he’s gonna have trouble getting in. Just a gut feeling.

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