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A Special Day in Cooperstown

Even amidst the constant controversy that surrounds the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is always something magical about Cooperstown, and when they have a former player from the modern era elected it makes the ceremony that much more special.

This year they have four.

On what was a beautiful summer day in front of 40,000 fans and forty-nine Hall of Famers in upstate New York, four baseball legends are now enshrined with a bronze bust that will forever be on display.

Rather than recap the accomplishments of the four (regular visitors know that we have done that often), let’s read the etchings on each of the four new inductees.

CRAIG ALLAN BIGGIO: HOUSTON, N.L. 1988-2007

GRITTY SPARK PLUG WHO IGNITED ASTROS OFFENSE FOR 20 MAJOR LEAGUE SEASONS, BECOMING FIRST PLAYER IN HISTORY WITH AT LEAST 3,000 HITS, 600 DOUBLES, 400 STOLEN BASES AND 250 HOME RUNS.  TRANSITIONED FROM ALL-STAR CATCHER TO GOLD GLOVE SECOND BASEMAN TO EVERYDAY OUTFIELDER, AMASSING 3,060 HITS, INCLUDING 668 DOUBLES – MOST BY A RIGHT-HANDED BATTER – AND A MODERN-DAY RECORD 285 TIMES HIT BY A PITCH.  A SEVEN-TIME ALL-STAR, WON FIVE SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS AND FOUR GOLD GLOVE AWARDS.


JOHN ANDREW SMOLTZ: ATLANTA N.L. 1988-99, 2001-08; BOSTON, A.L. 2009; ST.LOUIS, N.L. 2009

A WORKHOUSE POWER PITCHER, TRADED HIS STARTING DOMINANCE TO DEVELOP INTO PREMIER CLOSER BEFORE RETURNING TO ROTATION.  BECAME THE FIRST PLAYER IN HISTORY WITH 200 WINS AND 150 SAVES.  WITH A DYNAMIC FASTBALL, A DECEPTIVE SLIDER AND A DARTING SPLITTER, FANNED 3,084 BATTERS AND WAS NAMED TO EIGHT ALL-STAR TEAMS, THE 1996 N.L. CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER AND 1992 NLCS MVP.  SET N.L. RECORD WITH 55 SAVES IN 2002.  PITCHED BEST WHEN GAME WAS BIGGEST, RECORDING A 15-4 POST-SEASON RECORD, HELPING BRAVES TO 1995 WORLD SERIES TITLE.

PEDRO JAIME MARTINEZ:  LOS ANGELES, N.L. 1992-93; MONTREAL. N.L. 1994-97; BOSTON, A.L. 1998-2004; NEW YORK, N.L. 2005-08; PHILADELPHIA, N.L. 2009


FEATURING AN ELECTRIC ARSENAL OF PITCHES THAT VANQUISHED BATTERS DURING AN ERA OF HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE, THE FIERY RIGHTY FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC OWNED THE INSIDE PART OF THE PLATE WITH AN EXPLODING FASTBALL AND CONFOUNDING CHANGE-UP.  LED LEAGUE IN E.R.A. FIVE TIMES AND STRIKEOUTS THREE TIMES EN ROUTE TO THREE CY YOUNG AWARDS AND EIGHT ALL-STAR SELECTIONS.  FIRST PITCHER TO RETIRE WITH 3,154 STRIKEOUTS IN FEWER THAN 3,000 INNINGS.  WON 219 GAMES WITH AN ASTOUNDING .687 WINNING PERCENTAGE.  POSTED 117-37 RECORD IN BOSTON HELPING TO LEAD RED SOX TO 2004 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP.


RANDALL DAVID JOHNSON:  “RANDY” “THE BIG UNIT”:  MONTREAL, N.L. 1988-89; SEATTLE, A.L. 1989-98; HOUSTON, N.L. 1998; ARIZONA, N.L. 1999-2004, 2007-08; NEW YORK, A.L. 2005-06; SAN FRANCISCO, N.L. 2009

AT 6’10’, A TOWERING AND INTIMIDATING LEFTHANDER WHOSE CRACKLING FASTBALL AND DEVASTATING SLIDER PARALYZED HITTERS FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, FIVE-TIMES CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER, INCLUDING FOUR CONSECUTIVE, 1999-2002.  LED LEAGUE IN STRIKEOUTS NINE TIMES AND POSTED SIX 300 STRIKEOUT SEASONS.  TEN-TIME ALL-STAR AND THREE-TIME 20-GAME WINNER, RANKED SECONS ALL-TIME ON STRIKEOUT LIST (4,875) AND FIRST IN STRIKEOUTS PER NINE INNINGS (10.6) UPON RETIREMENT.  WON 303 GAMES AND LED LEAGUE IN E.R.A. FOUR TIMES, WON THREE GAMES IN 2001 WORLD SERIES WITH CHAMPION DIAMONDBACKS EARNING CO-MVP HONORS. 


Capital letters do make it more emphatic doesn’t it?

Do you want to know what makes it even better?

The fact that Randy Johnson was inducted with his mullet is far greater to us than his hat (the first for Arizona) and the hat worn by Craig Biggio (Astros, also a first.

So what do we do now?

What we always do!

We look forward to the next class of Baseball Hall of Famers and debate their merits.

Hopefully, all of you will participate and lend us your opinions as to who you want to see in the next Baseball Hall of Fame class.

7. John Smoltz

The Atlanta Braves essentially stole John Smoltz when they traded what was left of Doyle Alexander to the Detroit Tigers for him and doesn’t the latter could have that one back?

Awards = HOF?: Part Fifty-Six: The Rolaids Reliever of the Year

We here at Notinhalloffame.com thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least number of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Last time, we looked at the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is given to the Goalie(s) who allowed the fewest Goals for their team.  That was our last hockey award, as we return to Baseball, specifically the Relief Pitchers, which will be a little complicated as you will see with the next paragraphs.

The Rolaids Reliever of the Year first came to existence in 1976, and was sponsored by the antiacid product, Rolaids.  At the time, the slogan for the product was “ROLAIDS spells Relief”, so it was a perfect pairing.  

This is the first time that we are looking at a defunct award, as when the new parent company of Rolaids opted to not continue the award, it ended in 2012.  It would be replaced in 2014 with the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year and Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year.  Coincidentally, there was a separate reliver award that began in 2005, The Delivery Man of the Year, which ran from 2005 to 2013.

Specifically, with the Rolaids Relief Award, it was awarded on a point system, tabulating Wins, Saves, Losses and Blown Saves.

Nevertheless, these were significant awards in our eyes, and we plan to look at them all!

So how many Rolaids Reliever of the Year winners have made the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Let’s find out!

The following are the past players who have won the Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award who are eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame and have been enshrined.

Rollie Fingers, San Diego Padres: 8-9, 35 Saves, 2.99 ERA, 113 SO, NL 1977

This was Fingers’ first season in San Diego and the closer had already gone to four All-Star Games and won three World Series Rings with the Oakland Athletics.  This year, Fingers topped the NL in Saves (35), Games Pitched (78), and Games Finished (69), and he was 14thin MVP voting.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Rich Gossage, New York Yankees: 10-11, 27 Saves, 2.01 ERA, 122 SO, AL 1978 

Prior to what was his first year with the Yankees, Gossage already was a three-time All-Star, two with the Chicago White Sox, and one with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  This year, “Goose” led the AL in Saves (27) and Games Finished (55), and was fifth in Cy Young Voting.  Gossage also helped New York win the World Series that year.  As All-Star in 1978, Gossage had five more All-Star appearances, three with the Yanks and two with San Diego.  He retired in 1994 following runs with San Francisco, New York (again), Texas, Oakland and Seattle and had 310 career Saves.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Rollie Fingers, San Diego Padres: 6-13, 37 Saves, 2.52 ERA, 72 SO, NL 1978 (2)

Fingers went to the All-Star Game for the fifth time, and his 37 Saves would not only lead the NL, but would be a personal high. He was eighth for the Cy Young and 14thfor the MVP this year.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bruce Sutter, Chicago Cubs: 6-6, 37 Saves, 2.22 ERA, 110 SO, NL 1979 

Bruce Sutter was already a two-time All-Star at this point, and in what was his third consecutive All-Star year, Sutter began a four-year streak of leading the National League in Saves.  The flamethrower had a WHIP of 0.977, and he would win the Cy Young with a seventh place finish for the MVP.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Rollie Fingers, San Diego Padres: 11-9, 23 Saves, 2.80 ERA, 69 SO, NL 1980 (3)

This was Fingers’ last year with San Diego, and he went three for four for Rolaids Reliever of the Year Awards.  

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Rollie Fingers, Milwaukee Brewers: 6-3, 28 Saves, 1.04 ERA, 61 SO, AL 1981 (4)

Fingers returned to the American League, where in the strike-shortened 1981 Season he had his best year of his li6e.  He was first in the AL in Saves (28), and he had the best ERA (1.04) and WHIP (0.872) and he became the first Rolaids Reliever winner to win both the Cy Young and the MVP.  Fingers had three more seasons in the Majors with 341 Saves.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Bruce Sutter, St. Louis Cardinals: 3-5, 25 Saves, 2.62 ERA, 57 SO, NL 1981 (2) 

Sutter was now a St. Louis Cardinal, and his skill as the top closer in the National League remained intact.  Sutter was fifth for the Cy Young and eighth in MVP voting.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Bruce Sutter, St. Louis Cardinals: 9-8, 36 Saves, 2.90 ERA, 61 SO, NL 1982 (3) 

Sutter was not an All-Star this year, but he finished strong again finishing first in Saves (36).   He would be third for the Cy Young and fifth for MVP and in that post-season, Sutter helped the Redbirds win the World Series.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Bruce Sutter, St. Louis Cardinals: 5-7, 45 Saves, 1.54 ERA, 77 SO, NL 1984 (4) 

This was the last great year for Sutter, and coincidentally his final one with St. Louis.  Sutter led the National League in Saves (45) and Games Finishes (63), both of which were career-highs, and he was also third for the Cy Young and sixth in MVP voting.  He played three more years in the Majors, all with Atlanta.  Sutter retired with an even 300 Saves.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dennis Eckersley, Oakland Athletics: 4-2, 45 Saves, 2.35 ERA, 70 SO, AL 1988  

Dennis Eckersley converted from a starter to reliever the year before, but this was the year where he proved that this was what he was meant to be.  Eckersley led the AL in Saves (45) this year with a WHIP of 0.867.  The A’s made it to the World Series that year, and he was second for the Cy Young and fifth for the MVP.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Lee Smith, St. Louis Cardinals: 6-3, 47 Saves, 2.34 ERA, 67 SO, NL 1991  

Lee Smith was already a Major Leaguer since 1980, and he already had nine 25-plus Save campaigns.  The Cardinals were his third team, (following Chicago and Boston) and this season he set a personal record with 47 Saves (also league-leading) as well as finishing first in Games Finished (61).  He finished second for the Cy Young and eighth in MVP voting.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Dennis Eckersley, Oakland Athletics: 7-1, 45 Saves, 1.91 ERA, 93 SO, AL 1992 (2) 

In the three years between Rolaids Reliever of the Year wins, Eckersley won a World Series, and had 124 Saves.  This year, Eckersley was first for the second time in Saves (51) and first time in Games Finished (65).  Eckersley won the Cy Young and MVP, and cemented his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Lee Smith, St. Louis Cardinals: 4-9, 43 Saves, 3.12 ERA, 60 SO, NL 1992 (2)  

Smith led the NL in Saves for the second straight season, and was fourth for the Cy Young this year.  He would also go to his fourth All-Star Game, and his fifth would come the following year.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Lee Smith, Baltimore Orioles: 1-4, 33 Saves, 3.29 ERA, 42 SO, AL 1994 (3)  

Smith was only with the Baltimore Orioles for one season, and it was a good one where he won not only the Rolaids Reliever of the Year, but was an All-Star for the sixth time.  Smith led the AL in Saves (33) and was fifth in Cy Young voting. Smith joined the California Angels the following year and had one more All-Star year with him.  He retired in 1997 after stops in Cincinnati and Montreal with 478 career Saves, which was then the all-time record.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres: 4-2, 53 Saves, 1.48 ERA, 86 SO, NL 1998  

Trevor Hoffman had been the Padres closer since 1994, and this was the year he let everyone in the baseball world know he was elite.  Hoffman was an All-Star for the first time and his league-leading 53 Saves, 1.48 ERA, and 0.849 WHIP landed him second in Cy Young voting and seventh in MVP voting.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: 4-3, 45 Saves, 1.83 ERA, 52 SO, AL 1999  

Mariano Rivera was already established as an elite reliever in the American League, and had already won two World Series Championships. This year, Rivera won his first of five Rolaids Reliever of the Year Awards, and he led the AL in Saves (45) with a 1.83 ERA and a 0.884 WHIP.  Rivera was third in Cy Young voting, and he helped the Yankees win the World Series, winning the World Series MVP.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: 4-6, 50 Saves, 2.34 ERA, 83 SO, AL 2001 (2)  

Rivera was an All-Star for the fourth time this year, and the season before he won his fourth World Series.  Rivera again had a WHIP under 1.000 (0.905), and was eleventh in MVP voting.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves: 3-2, 55 Saves, 3.25 ERA, 85 SO, NL 2002  

Prior to taking on the role of the Braves’ closer, Smoltz was a top starter for years, going to four All-Star Games, winning a World Series Ring and earning a Cy Young.  Smoltz excelled in this role too, with his 55 Saves leading the NL and finishing third in Cy Young voting.  He would later go back to being a starter, and would retire in 2009, with his final year being split between Boston and St. Louis.  Smoltz had a lifetime record of 213-155 with 3,084 Strikeouts and 154 Saves.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: 5-2, 40 Saves, 1.66 ERA, 63 SO, AL 2003 (3)  

Another spectacular season happened for Rivera, whose 1.63 was the second lowest of his career.  In the playoffs, Rivera won the ALCS MVP, but the Yankees lost to the Marlins in the World Series.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: 7-4, 43 Saves, 1.38 ERA, 80 SO, AL 2005 (4)  

Rivera was electric again this year, posting his all-time best ERA (1.38) with a phenom20al WHIP of 0.868.  Rivera was second for the Cy Young to Bartolo Colon of Cleveland and was ninth in MVP voting.  Rivera also won the Delivery Man of the Year Award, which was in its first year of existence.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres: 0-2, 46 Saves, 2.14 ERA, 50 SO, NL 2006 (2)  

Hoffman went to his second, third and fourth All-Star Game in between his Rolaids Reliver wins, and was an All-Star again this year.  Hoffman led the NL in Saves (46) and had a sub 1.000 WHIP.  He was again second in Cy Young voting.  Hoffman went to two more All-Stars, the last one as a Milwaukee Brewer. He retired in 2010 with 601 career Saves.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: 3-3, 44 Saves, 1.76 ERA, 72 SO, AL 2009 (5) Co-Winner

This was Rivera’s fifth and final Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award, and he would also win his third Delivery Man of the Year (he won his second in 2006).  Rivera would later take the Yankees to another World Series win, his fifth.  He played until 2013, was a thirteen-time All-Star, and retired with 652 Saves, the most all-time.  Rivera entered the Baseball Hall of Fame with a perfect ballot, the first man to do so.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

 

The following are the players who have won the Rolaids Relief Award who are eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame and have not been selected:

Bill Campbell, Minnesota Twins: 17-5, 20 Saves, 3.01 ERA, 115 SO, AL 1976

This was Campbell’s final season in Minnesota, and he would not only win the inaugural American League Rolaids Relief Award, he was the league-leader in Games Pitched (78) and Gamed Finished (68). Campbell finished seventh for the Cy Young and eighth for the MVP.

Eligible since 1993.  Campbell was on the ballot for one year and received 0.2% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com 

Rawly Eastwick, Cincinnati Reds: 11-5, 26 Saves, 2.09 ERA, 70 SO, AL 1976

The rookie and sophomore seasons of Rawly Eastwick are forgotten gems in the lore of the Cincinnati Reds.  As a rookie, he led the NL in Saves (22) and was third in Rookie of the Year voting while helping the Reds win the World Series. This season, he was even better with a career-high 26 Saves and was fifth in Cy Young voting and thirteenth for the MVP, and he was again a part of the Reds World Series win.  His career regressed after that, and he bounced around to St. Louis, New York (AL), Philadelphia, Kansas City and Chicago (NL) with his Major League career coming to an end in 1981.  He had 68 career Saves, with 48 coming in 1975 and 1976.

Eastwick did not play the mandatory ten years to qualify for the Hall of Fame. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com 

Bill Campbell, Boston Red Sox: 13-9, 31 Saves, 2.96 ERA, 114 SO, AL 1977 (2)

Campbell signed with Boston this year and arguably, this was his last real good season in the Majors, though he played until 1987 with stops in Chicago (NL), Philadelphia, St. Louis, Detroit and Montreal. This year, Campbell led the AL in Saves (32) and Games Finished (60), and was fifth for the Cy Young and tenth for the MVP.  Campbell had 126 career Saves.

Eligible since 1993.  Campbell was on the ballot for one year and received 0.2% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jim Kern, Texas Rangers: 13-5, 29 Saves, 1.57 ERA, 136 SO, AL 1979 

Jim Kern went to three straight All-Star Games, with this year being his third.  Also in his first season in Texas (he was with Cleveland before), Kern had his best year by far in the Majors.  In addition to his personal best 29 Saves, he also set career-highs in Games Played (71), Games Finished (57), and was fourth in Cy Young voting and eleventh in MVP voting. Kern never had a year close to this again, and he bounced around to Cincinnati, Chicago (AL), Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland before his career ended in 1986.  He had 88 career Saves.

Eligible since 1992.  Despite being Hall of Fame eligible in 1992, he was not on the ballot.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals: 12-7, 33 Saves, 3.09 ERA, 37 SO, AL 1980 

This was Quisenberry’s breakout year where the submarine-style Pitcher led the AL in Saves (33), Gamed Finished (68) and Games Pitched (75).  Quisenberry was fifth in Cy Young and eighth in MVP voting, and he helped Kansas City reach the World Series.

Eligible since 1996.  Quisenberry was on the ballot for one year and received 3.8% of the vote in 1996.  Ranked #94 on Notinhalloffame.com

Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals: 9-7, 35 Saves, 2.57 ERA, 46 SO, AL 1982 (2) 

“Quiz” was finally an All-Star, and he did what he did in 1980, which was lead the AL in Saves (35) and Games Finished (68). He was third for the Cy Young and ninth for the MVP, and this began a four-year streak of top three Cy Young finishes.

Eligible since 1996.  Quisenberry was on the ballot for one year and received 3.8% of the vote in 1996.  Ranked #94 on Notinhalloffame.com

Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals: 5-3, 45 Saves, 1.94 ERA, 46 SO, AL 1983 (3) 

Quisenberry’s 45 Saves not only led the American League but it would be a personal best for the closer.  He was also first in the AL in Games Pitched (69) and Games Finished (62), and the “Quiz” was the runner-up for the 7y Young with a sixth-place finish in MVP voting.

Eligible since 1996.  Quisenberry was on the ballot for one year and received 3.8% of the vote in 1996.  Ranked #94 on Notinhalloffame.com

Al Holland, Philadelphia Phillies: 8-4, 25 Saves, 2.26 ERA, 100 SO, NL 1983  

After playing in San Francisco for four years, he joined Philadelphia in 1983, and became their closer.  Holland help take the Phillies to the World Series that year but they lost to Baltimore Orioles in five.  The southpaw was an All-Star the following year, and exceeded his Saves mark to 2, but he was used in middle relief afterward, and later played for Pittsburgh, California and the New York Yankees.  He only had 78 career Saves.

Eligible since 1993.  Despite being Hall of Fame eligible in 1993, he was not on the ballot.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals: 6-3, 44 Saves, 2.64 ERA, 41 SO, AL 1984 (4)

Quisenberry was an All-Star for the third and last time, but he was on year three of four straight Save-leading seasons.  He was again the second-place finisher for the Cy Young, and he was third for the MVP, his highest ever finish.

Eligible since 1996.  Quisenberry was on the ballot for one year and received 3.8% of the vote in 1996.  Ranked #94 on Notinhalloffame.com

Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals: 8-9, 37 Saves, 2.37 ERA, 54 SO, AL 1985 (5) 

Quisenberry secured his fifth and final Rolaids Relief Award, and it is also marked the last of five times he was the American League leader in Saves (37), the third and final time in Games Pitched (84) and fourth and final time in Games Finished (37).  He played with the Royals until 1988, winning a World Series Ring in 1985, and he later joined St. Louis and San Francisco.  He retired with 244 career Saves.

Eligible since 1996.  Quisenberry was on the ballot for one year and received 3.8% of the vote in 1996.  Ranked #94 on Notinhalloffame.com

Jeff Reardon, Montreal Expos: 2-8, 41 Saves, 3.18 ERA, 67 SO, NL 1985  

Jeff Reardon had at least 20 Saves in the three years before, but he improved that total to 41 this year, which was the only time he ever finished first in his respective league.  He was seventh in Cy Young voting and two years later he helped the Minnesota Twins win the 1987 World Series.  A four-time All-Star, Reardon would later play for Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati and New York (AL), and he amassed 367 Saves.

Eligible since 2000.  Reardon was on the ballot for one year in 2000 and received 4.8% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Dave Righetti, New York Yankees: 8-8, 46 Saves, 2.45 ERA, 83 SO, AL 1986  

Dave Righetti began his career as a starter where he was the 1981 American League Rookie of the Year.  Three years later he was moved to the bullpen and after two good years in that role, he was named to the All-Star team with league leading numbers in Saves (46) and Games Finished (68).  Righetti was fourth for the Cy Young and tenth for the MVP.

Eligible since 2001.  Righetti was on the ballot for one year in 2001 and received 0.4% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Todd Worrell, St. Louis Cardinals: 9-10, 36 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 73 SO, NL 1986  

1986 was the best year of Todd Worrell’s career, which coincidentally was also his rookie year.  Not only would he win the Rolaids Reliever of the Year, he was also the Rookie of the Year.  Worrell led the NL in Saves (36), Games Finished (60), and he was fifth for the Cy Young.  Worrell would later be an All-Star in 1988, and twice for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1995-96).  He retired in 1997 with 256 Saves.

Eligible since 2003.  Worrell was on the ballot for one year in 2003 and received 0.0% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Dave Righetti, New York Yankees: 8-6, 31 Saves, 3.41 ERA, 77 SO, AL 1987 (2) 

Righetti was an All-Star again, which would be the second and last time.  He would have at least 24 Saves over the next four years, and he also played for San Francisco, Oakland, Toronto and the Chicago White Sox.  He accrued 252 total Saves.

Eligible since 2001.  Worrell was on the ballot for one year in 2001 and received 0.4% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Steve Bedrosian, Philadelphia Phillies: 5-3, 40 Saves, 2.83 ERA, 74 SO, NL 1987 

Bedrosian was a Relief Pitcher for most of his career, and his best year by far at it was 1987, where his 40 Saves were league-leading. An All-Star this year, Bedrosian won the Cy Young Award, which was coincidentally the only year he would get a vote.  Bedrosian would later win a World Series Ring with the Minnesota Twins in 1991, and he had 184 career Saves.

Eligible since 2001.  Worrell was on the ballot for one year in 2001 and received 0.2% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

John Franco, Cincinnati Reds: 6-6, 39 Saves, 1.57 ERA, 46 SO, NL 1988 

Franco was an All-Star in the two years before, and he led the NL in Games Finished (60) with 32 Saves the year before.  This season, his 39 Saves topped the National League and his 61 Games Finished were also atop the leaderboard.  Franco was an All-Star the next year, and joined the Mets in 1990.

Eligible since 2011.  Franco was on the ballot for one year in 2011 and received 4.6% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jeff Russell, Texas Rangers: 6-4, 38 Saves, 1.98 ERA, 77 SO, NL 1989 

Over Jeff Russell’s 14-year career, he was predominantly used in relief, but this would be the first season he became a closer. Russell led the AL in Saves (38) and Games Finished (66), and would me ninth for the Cy Young.  Russell later played for Oakland, Boston and Cleveland before returning to Texas and closing his career in 1996 with 186 career Saves.

Eligible since 2002.  Franco was on the ballot for one year in 2002 but did not receive any votes.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Mark Davis, San Diego Padres: 4-3, 44 Saves, 1.85 ERA, 92 SO, NL 1989 

Mark Davis made his Major League debut in 1980 with the Philadelphia Phillies, and he would later play for San Francisco before joining the Giants in 1987.  Davis was anointed the team’s closer in 1988 and was an All-Star, but he had the season of his life in 1989 where he was again an All-Star and led the NL in Saves (44) and Games Finished (65).  He would win the Cy Young while also finishing sixth for the MVP.  Davis signed with Kansas City afterward but he never had a season like 1989 again.  He went on to play for Atlanta, Philadelphia with a return to San Diego.  Davis retired for good after a brief comeback in 1997 with the Brewers.

Eligible since 2003.  Davis was on the ballot for one year in 2003 and received 0.2% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Bobby Thigpen, Chicago White Sox: 4-6, 57 Saves, 1.83 ERA, 70 SO, NL 1989 

Bobby Thigpen had already been the primary closer for the ChiSox for the past two years, but this year he set a then Major League record in Saves with 57, while also leading the American League in Games Pitched (77) and Games Finished (73).  He only had two more seasons where he had at least 20 Saves, but his skills were eroding quickly and he was out of Baseball by 1994.

Thigpen did not play the minimum ten years to qualify for the Hall of Fame.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

John Franco, New York Mets: 5-3, 33 Saves, 2.53 ERA, 56 SO, NL 1990 (2)

This was Franco’s first of 14 years as a Met, and it was also his last All-Star year.  Franco led the NL in Saves for the second time, and later on in 1994, he would again with 30 Saves, but he was not a Rolaids winner that year.  He finished his career with a season in Houston in 2005, and retired with 424 Saves.

Eligible since 2011.  Franco was on the ballot for one year in 2011 and received 4.6% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Bryan Harvey, California Angels: 2-4, 46 Saves, 1.60 ERA, 101 SO, AL 1991

This Harvey’s best season in the Majors, where his 46 Saves led the AL, as did his 63 Games Finished; both of which were career-highs.  Harvey finished fifth in Cy Young voting, and was an All-Star.  While this was his only Rolaids win, two years ago he had another All-Star season, albeit with the Florida Marlins in a World Series winning year. Harvey had 177 career Saves.

Harvey did not play the minimum ten years to qualify for the Hall.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jeff Montgomery, Kansas City Royals: 7-5, 45 Saves, 2.27 ERA, 66 SO, AL 1993

Montgomery went to three All-Star Games over his career, which was all but 14 Games as a Kansas City Royal.  A late-inning reliever for most of career, Montgomery had four 30-plus Save years, with the 45 this year being league-leading and his career-high.  Montgomery retired in 1999 with 304 Saves.

Eligible Since 2005.  Montgomery was on the ballot for one year in 2005 and received 0.4% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Randy Myers, Chicago Cubs: 2-4, 53 Saves, 3.11 ERA, 86 SO, NL 1993

Before he was a Chicago Cub, Randy Myers was a New York Met, a Cincinnati Red, where the closer was an All-Star and World Series Champion and a San Diego Padre.  With the Cubs, Myers went to two All-Star Games and in 1993, won the Saves Title (53) while also finishing eighth for the Cy Young.  He would again lead the NL in Saves (38) in 1995 and the American League with 45 in 1997 as a Baltimore Oriole.  Myers finished his career in 1998, splitting his time with Toronto and San Diego and would amass 347 total Saves.

Eligible Since 2004.  Myers was on the ballot for one year in 2005 and received 0.2% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Rod Beck, San Francisco Giants: 2-4, 28 Saves, 2.77 ERA, 39 SO, NL 1994

Rod Beck was in his fourth season of Major League service and it was his second straight year as an All-Star.  In this strike-shortened year, Beck led the NL in Games Finished (47) for the second consecutive year, and he would later do so again two more times.  Beck would overall go three All-Star Games, and later play for the Chicago Cuba, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres.  Beck retired with 286 Saves.

Eligible Since 2008.  Beck was on the ballot for one year in 2005 and received 0.4% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jose Mesa, Cleveland Indians: 3-0, 46 Saves, 1.13 ERA, 58 SO, AL 1995

From the Dominican Republic, Jose Mesa had a 19-year career in the Majors, where he was mostly used coming out of the bullpen. This season, Mesa led the AL in Saves (46) and Games Finished (57), and he was an All-Star for the first time. Mesa was second this year for the Cy Young and fourth for the MVP and he secured 321 career Saves in 1,022 Games Pitched.

Eligible Since 2013.  Mesa was on the ballot for one year in 2013 but did not receive any votes. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Tom Henke, St. Louis Cardinals: 1-1, 36 Saves, 1.82 ERA, 48 SO, NL 1995

Tom Henke won a World Series Rings with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he led the AL in Saves in 1987.  After leaving the Jays for Texas in 1993, he played two years before going to St. Louis in the NL for his lone year there, where he had his best ERA (1.82), and the second of two All-Star campaigns.  Henke retired on top, as he elected to retire at the end of the season.  

Eligible Since 2001.  Henke was on the ballot for one year in 2001 and received 1.2% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

John Wetteland, New York Yankees: 2-3, 43 Saves, 2.83 ERA, 69 SO, AL 1996

John Wetteland had at least 25 or more Saves in the four years before this season, three with Montreal and one with the Yankees. In this baseball campaign, Wetteland led the American League in Saves (43) in what was his first of three All-Star years.  Wetteland helped the Yankees win the World Series that year while winning the World Series MVP, and after he was a Texas Ranger for his last four years.  He had 330 career Saves.

Eligible Since 2006.  Wetteland was on the ballot for one year in 2006 and received 0.8% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jeff Brantley, Cincinnati Reds: 1-2, 44 Saves, 2.41 ERA, 76 SO, NL 1996

Jeff Brantley was an All-Star in 1990 as a San Francisco Giant, but it was in Cincinnati where the reliever had his best year.  Brantley led the NL in Saves (44), which was the only time that would happen.  He would late play for St. Louis, Philadelphia and Texas and managed 172 career Saves.

Eligible Since 2007.  Brantley was eligible for the Hall in 2007 but was not on the ballot.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Randy Myers, Baltimore Orioles: 2-3, 45 Saves, 1.51 ERA, 56 SO, AL 1997 (2)

Myers would again lead the league (American) with 45 in 1997 as a Baltimore Oriole.  Myers finished his career in 1998, splitting his time with Toronto and San Diego and would amass 347 total Saves.

Eligible Since 2004.  Myers was on the ballot for one year in 2005 and received 0.2% of the vote. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jeff Shaw, Cincinnati Reds: 4-2, 42 Saves, 2.38 ERA, 74 SO, NL 1997 

For the first time, we have a back-to-back winner from a team who was not the same player.  Jeff Brantley won it in 1996, as opposed to Jeff Shaw this year, who was the National League Leader in Saves with 42.  He had more in 48 the year after, but it was a season split between the Reds and the Dodgers.  Shaw had 203 career Saves.

Eligible Since 2007.  Shaw was eligible since 2007 but was not on the ballot.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Tom Gordon, Boston Red Sox: 7-4, 46 Saves, 2.72 ERA, 78 SO, AL 1998 

After eight years in Kansas City, Tom Gordon became the Red Sox’ primary closer in his third year in Boston.  This was arguably Gordon’s best season in Baseball, and it would be the first of three All-Star Game appearances for “Flash”, with the others coming as a Yankee and as a Phillie.  Gordon led the AL in Saves (46) and Games Finished (69), and had a sparkling WHIP of 1.008.  Gordon played 21 seasons and retired with a record of 138-126 with 158 Saves and 1,928 Strikeouts.

Eligible Since 2015.  Gordon was on the ballot for one year in 2015 and received 0.4% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Billy Wagner, Houston Astros: 4-1, 39 Saves, 1.57 ERA, 124 SO, NL 1998 

Wagner was a Strikeout machine this year for Houston with a 14.9 SO/9 with a 0.777 WHIP.  This year saw Wagner go to his first of seven All-Star Games, and while he never led his league in Saves, he compiled 422 over his career.  He also played for Philadelphia, New York (NL), Boston and Atlanta.

Eligible Since 2016.  Wagner has been on the ballot for five years finishing as high as 31.7% in 2020.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Antonio Alfonseca, Florida Marlins: 5-6, 45 Saves, 4.24 ERA, 47 SO, NL 2000

Alfonseca led the National League in Saves (45), but his ERA was 4.24, his WHIP was over 1.500, and his bWAR was 0.5.  He is arguably the worst recipient of this award. He would later play for Chicago (NL), Atlanta, Texas and Philadelphia and had 126 career Saves.

Eligible Since 2012.  Although Alfonseca was Hall of Fame eligible in 2012 he was not on the ballot. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Todd Jones, Detroit Tigers: 2-4, 42 Saves, 3.52 ERA, 67 SO, AL 2000

Todd Jones was a journeyman reliever over his career, often in a closing capacity.  This was his best year, going to his lone All-Star Game and leading the AL in Saves with 42.  Jones would accumulate 319 Saves over 16 years.

Eligible Since 2014.  Jones was on the ballot for one year in 2014 but he did not receive any votes. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Armando Benitez, New York Mets: 6-4, 43 Saves, 3.77 ERA, 93 SO, NL 2001

Armando Benitez had his second consecutive 40 Save year with the Mets, and would have another one in 2004 with 47 as a Marlin that led the NL.  Benitez had 289 Saves over a career that also saw time spent with Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco and Toronto.

Eligible Since 2014.  Benitez was on the ballot for one year in 2014 and received 0.2% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Billy Koch, Oakland Athletics: 11-4, 44 Saves, 3.27 ERA, 93 SO, AL 2002

Billy Koch had at least 31 Saves over his first three years in the Majors which was in Toronto.  The Jays traded Koch to Oakland, and he had the best year of his career, securing 44 Saves and leading the AL in Games Pitched (84) and Games Finished (79).  Despite that, he was dealt to the White Sox, but he floundered after that and was out of the Majors by 2004.

Koch did not play the minimum ten years to qualify for the Hall of Fame.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Keith Foulke, Oakland Athletics: 9-1, 43 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 88 SO, AL 2003

Foulke arrived in Oakland when he was traded for Billy Koch, the Rolaids Reliever of the Year winner the year before.  Foulke won it this year with a league-leading 43 Saves and 67 Games Finished, with a seventh-place finish in Cy Young voting. This was his last year in Oakland, as he signed with Boston and won a World Series.  He retired in 2008 with 191 career Saves.

Eligible since 2014.  Although Foulke was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2014 he was not on the ballot. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Eric Gagne, Los Angeles Dodgers: 2-3, 55 Saves, 1.20 ERA, 137 SO, NL 2003

The numbers for Gagne were staggering, as he built upon his 52 Save season in 2002 with a 55 Save, 67 Games Finished performance that led both categories.  Gagne’s anemic 1.20 ERA was matched by an even more impressive 0.692 WHIP and 15.0 SO/9. Gagne would also win the Cy Young this season and 

Eligible since 2014.  Gagne was on the ballot for one year in 2014 and received 0.4% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Eric Gagne, Los Angeles Dodgers: 7-3, 45 Saves, 2.19 ERA, 114 SO, NL 2004 (2)

Gagne went back-to-back with Rolaids wins, and while his numbers were still good, they were not at the 2003 level.  Gagne was seventh in Cy Young voting and he had his third consecutive All-Star year.  This was it for Gagne, who had arm trouble and was never the same again. Gagne bounced to Texas, Boston and Milwaukee and retired in 2008 with 187 Saves.

Eligible since 2014.  Gagne was on the ballot for one year in 2014 and received 0.4% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Chad Cordero, Washington Nationals: 2-4, 47 Saves, 1.82 ERA, 61 SO, NL 2005

Cordero was only in the Majors for seven years (six with Washington) and this was easily his best year.  Cordero’s 47 Saves led the NL, and this was the only year he had an ERA under two and WHIP under one.  He had 128 career Saves.

Cordero did not play the minimum ten seasons required to qualify for the Hall of Fame. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

J.J. Putz, Seattle Mariners: 6-1, 40 Saves, 1.38 ERA, 82 SO, NL 2007

Putz was the Mariners closer for three years and he led the American League in Games Finished (65) and the All-Star had a spectacular 0.698 WHIP.  Putz later played for New York (NL), Chicago (AL) and Arizona and would have 189 career Saves.

Eligible since 2020.  Putz was on the ballot for one year and had 0.3% of the vote.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Jose Valverde, Arizona Diamondbacks: 1-4, 47 Saves, 2.56 ERA, 78 SO, NL 2007

Valverde had a breakout year here he led the NL in Saves (47) went to the All-Star Game, and was sixth for Cy Young voting. Despite that, Valverde was traded to Houston and led the NL in Saves (44) again. 

Eligible since 2020.  Valverde was on the ballot for one year in 2020 but did not receive any votes. Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies: 2-0, 41 Saves, 1.95 ERA, 92 SO, NL 2008

After six years with the Houston Astros, Brad Lidge was traded to the Houston Astros where in his first year, he was an All-Star for the second time, won the Rolaids Relief Award, and helped the Phillies win the World Series.  He would also finish fourth in Cy Young voting.  Lidge played five more years, but it was up and down, and he never came close to his 2008 season again.  He retired with 225 Saves. 

Eligible since 2018.  Lidge was on the ballot for one year on 2018 but did not receive any votes.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Heath Bell, San Diego Padres: 6-4, 42 Saves, 2.71 ERA, 79 SO, NL 2009

This was Bell’s sixth year in the Majors and third in San Diego, but it would be his first as a closer.  Bell rose to the occasion, leading the National League in Saves (42) and he was an All-Star for the first time. 

Eligible since 2020.  Bell was on the ballot for one year on 2020 but did not receive any votes.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Heath Bell, San Diego Padres: 6-1, 47 Saves, 1.93 ERA, 86 SO, NL 2010 (2)

Bell went back-to-back for the Rolaids Award, exceeding his 42 Save mark to 47.  This would be the only year where he dropped his ERA to below two, and he was an All-Star again.  Bell had 43 Saves in 2011, and was an All-Star for the third straight year. His All-Star runs were over, as was his stay in San Diego.  Bell played three more seasons, one with Miami, Arizona and Tampa Bay, and accrued 168 Saves over his career. 

Eligible since 2020.  Bell was on the ballot for one year on 2020 but did not receive any votes.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Jose Valverde, Detroit Tigers: 2-4, 49 Saves, 2.56 ERA, 78 SO, AL 2011 (2)

Joining the Detroit Tigers in 2010, Valverde led the AL in Saves (49), Games Finished (70) and Games Pitched (75) this season. He would also win the Delivery Man of the Year Award, and was fifth in Cy Young voting.  Valverde played until 2014, with a final year as a Met, and he accrued 288 Saves.

Eligible since 2020.  Valverde was on the ballot for one year but did not receive any votes.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com. 

 

Let’s update our tally, shall we?       

Award in Question

Percentage of recipients who have entered the HOF

Percentage of recipients by year who have entered the HOF.

NBA MVP

100%

100%

NHL Art Ross

100%

100%

NHL Hart Trophy

93.6%

96.3%

NBA Finals MVP

91.3%

94.9%

NHL Norris

90.5%

96.4%

NHL Ted Lindsay Award

90.0%

 

NBA All-Star Game MVP

89.5%

91.7%

NHL Conn Smythe

74.2%

85.4%

NFL Bert Bell Award

73.7%

71.4%

NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year

73.1%

79.4%

NFL AP MVP

68.3%

74.0%

NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

66.7%

66.7%

NHL Lady Byng

63.8%

76.0%

NFL Defensive Player of the Year

60.8%

71.1%

NFL Super Bowl MVP

60.6%

64.9%

NHL Mark Messier Leadership Award

60.0%

60.0%

NBA Defensive Player of the Year

58.3%

56.5%

NHL Vezina

57.1%

66.3%

NBA Rookie of the Year

56.5%

56.5%

MLB MVP

55.0%

60.2%

NFL Pro Bowl MVP

52.3%

54.8%

MLB Lou Gehrig Award

51.9%

51.9%

MLB Roberto Clemente Award

47.4%

47.4%

NHL Calder Trophy

46.5%

46.5%

NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

46.0%

46.0%

MLB/NL/AL Cy Young Award

44.4%

55.4%

MLB Babe Ruth Award

37.0%

39.3%

NHL King Clancy Award

36.8%

36.8%

NHL Frank J. Selke Trophy

33.3%

36.7%

MLB World Series MVP

33.3%

36.8%

MLB Hutch Award

33.1%

33.1%

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

28.6%

28.6%

NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

27.9%

27.9%

MLB Edgar Martinez Award

26.7%

17.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Designated Hitter)

25.0%

30.8%

MLB Comeback Player of the Year

25.0%

25.0%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Shortstop)

23.5%

52.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove

21.7%

36.8%

NHL William M. Jennings Trophy

20.7%

40.4%

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

20.6%

20.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Catcher)

20.0%

22.5%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Second Base)

18.8%

39.8%

MLB Rolaids Reliever of the Year

18.6%

33.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Shortstop)

18.2%

35.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Pitcher)

18.2%

20.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Second Base)

16.7%

32.7%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Outfield)

16.7%

30.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Outfield)

15.7%

25.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Third Base)

14.3%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Third Base)

13.6%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (First Base)

13.6%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Rookie of the Year

13.3%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Catcher)

10.3%

15.2%

NBA Most Improved Player of the Year

5.3%

3.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (First Base)

3.8%

3.2%

NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year

0.0%

0.0%

So, who is up next?

The following are the players who have won the Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award in MLB who have retired but have not met the mandatory years out of the game to qualify for the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels: 2-3, 47 Saves, 1.73 ERA, 98 SO, NL 2006

Already a World Series Champion as a rookie, Rodriguez led the AL for the second straight year.  He was fourth in Cy Young voting and posted a 12.1 SO/9

Eligible in 2023.

Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels: 2-3, 62 Saves, 2.24 ERA, 77 SO, NL 2008 (2)

Rodriguez became the first player to record over 60 Saves (62), and he also led the AL in Games Pitched (76) and Games Finished (69). The Cy Young voters had him in third with him also placing him sixth in MVP voting.  This would be K-Rod’s last year as an Angel as he signed with the New York Mets as a Free Agent.  Later, he had two All-Star years with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he retired after two seasons with the Detroit Tigers.  Rodriguez had 437 career Saves.

Eligible in 2023.

Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins: 2-2, 47 Saves, 2.10 ERA, 89 SO, AL 2009

Joe Nathan was already an established closer, and this was his sixth consecutive season securing at least 36 Saves.  Nathan who was an All-Star this year, would be one six times over his career and accumulate 377 career Saves.

Eligible in 2022.

Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays: 3-2, 45 Saves, 1.73 ERA, 57 SO, AL 2010

Rafael Soriano was in the Majors for 14 seasons, with only one as a Tampa Bay Ray.  That lone year in Tampa, was his best, as this was the only year he was a league-leader in Saves (45) and had a sub-2 ERA.  Soriano also played for Seattle, Atlanta, New York (AL), Washington and Chicago (NL) and had 207 Saves. 

Eligible in 2021.

John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers: 2-2, 46 Saves, 1.95 ERA, 86 SO, NL 2011

This was John Axford’s third season and the best year of his career.  Axford led the NL in Saves this year (46) and was also ninth in Cy Young voting. Axford would later play for St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Oakland, Toronto and Los Angeles and had 144 Saves over his career. 

Eligible in 2024.

Jim Johnson, Baltimore Orioles: 2-1, 51 Saves, 2.49 ERA, 41 SO, AL 2012

Johnson was a closer for the first time in his career, and he responded by leading the American League in Saves (51).  He led the AL in the same metric the year after (50) as well as finishing atop the AL leaderboard in Games Finished (63).  He was not an elite closer afterward, playing for Oakland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the Angels, ending his career with 178 Saves.

Eligible in 2024.

The following are the players who have won the Rolaids Reliever of the Year who are still active.

Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves: 3-1, 42 Saves, 1.01 ERA, 116 SO, NL 2012

In the season before, Craig Kimbrel won the National League Rookie of the Year while leading the NL in Saves (46).  Kimbrel’s save totals were a little less this year (42), but was still league-leading.  What was really eye-popping was his ERA (1.01), SO/9 (16.7), SO/BB (8.29) and WHIP (0.654).  Kimbrel was fifth in Cy Young voting this year and he also led the NL in Saves the next two seasons.  Kimbrel would later win the Delivery Man of the Year of the Award (2013) and Trevor Hoffman Award (2017).

33 Years Old, Playing for the Chicago Cubs.

The Rolaids Reliever of the Year yielded a higher percentage than you would think considering that the Hall of Fame does not have that many Relief Pitchers in the Hall.  As this is now a defunct award, this total is no likely to change much.

So, what is up next?

We are not venturing to far, as we look at another defunct award for Relief Pitchers, the MLB Delivery Man of the Year.

As always, we thank you for your support, and look for that soon.

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