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Sports Then and Now



Trevor Hoffman Retires; Let the Hall of Fame Debate Begin 2

Posted on January 12, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Is all-time save leader Trevor Hoffman worthy of a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

The announcement that career saves leader Trevor Hoffman is retiring after 18 major league seasons means that the five year debate about whether he is worthy of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame is about to begin.

With 601 career saves, some believe that Hoffman is a lock for a plaque in Cooperstown. However, to others, he is an example of the over-inflation of the save as a statistic of relevance and short of Hall of Fame worthiness.

It is difficult to argue that Hoffman is among the best of the one-inning closers. He registered 30 or more saves in 13 straight full seasons (he missed most of the 2003 campaign) and twice led the majors. He finished his career with a 2.87 career ERA and averaged more than a strikeout per inning for his career.

However, over the last decade Hoffman rarely pitched more than one inning in a game. The last time he averaged more than one inning per appearance was in 2000.

Also, unlike Mariano Rivera, who is known for his big game performances, Hoffman’s results in crucial contests are not especially impressive.

Perhaps the most blatant example occurred in 2007 when Hoffman blew a save opportunity on the final day of the regular season that kept the Padres from clinching a playoff spot and instead forced a one-game playoff with the Colorado Rockies. He then blew a two run lead in the 13th inning of the one-game playoff to keep the Padres out of the playoffs.

In addition, he registered only four saves in 12 career playoff appearances and blew a save in his only game during the 1998 World Series against the New York Yankees. Read the rest of this entry →

Out Reach of Hope, The Dave Dravecky Story 1

Posted on September 25, 2009 by Blaine Spence

“As time passes, my story fades away.”

The story of Dave Dravecky is one of overcoming personal adversity and hardships.

The story of Dave Dravecky is one of overcoming personal adversity and hardships.

—Dave Dravecky

Dave Dravecky made his major-league debut with the San Diego Padres on June 15, 1982.

The left-handed Dravecky pitched 105 innings his rookie year, posting an ERA of 2.57.

In Dravecky’s sophomore year, he was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Star game and pitched two scoreless innings while striking out George Brett and Fred Lynn.

In over 25 innings of post season play, Dravecky was used both as a relief pitcher and as a starter. As a relief pitcher in the 1984 World Series for the Padres, Dravecky was flawless, allowing no earned runs in either the NLCS or the World Series, which the Padres eventually lost in five games to the Detroit Tigers.
Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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