In what could serve as a rehearsal for his induction to Cooperstown two summers from now, Trevor Hoffman received the highest honor his former team has to offer – induction into the Padres Hall of Fame.
In a pregame ceremony Saturday, the Padre great was honored as the ninth person in San Diego history to be enshrined. He joins Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, Randy Jones, Ray Krok, Dick Williams, and Dave Winfield.
The seven-time All Star pitched 16 seasons in San Diego, compiling a franchise-record 552 saves. Adding in a season with the Marlins, and two with the Brewers, Hoffman retired with 601 career saves, second only to former Yankee closer Mariano Rivera who saved 652 contests. As a testament to the two closers, no other reliever in the history of the game has even 500 saves. Third on the all-time list is Lee Smith with 478.
Acquired in a 1993 deal that sent Gary Sheffield to the Marlins, Hoffman went on to pitch in more than 900 games for the Padres. He led the league in saves twice and posted 30 or more in 14 seasons over the course of his 18-year Major League career.
The induction of Hoffman serves as a highlight in what has been a difficult year for the Padres. The start of 2014 saw the loss of longtime announcer and fellow Padre Hall of Famer Coleman, who passed away on January 5th. On June 16th, Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn succumbed to salivary gland neoplasm, a form or mouth cancer. On the field, San Diego is seven games below the break-even mark, 12 games behind the division-leading Dodgers.
Hoffman figures to get strong support in the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame election when he and Ken Griffey Jr. appear on the ballot for the first time.
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