While Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, and managers Dick Williams and LaRussa had productive years with other teams, they are associated primarily with the Oakland A’s. He believed that he was inducted because he was both a starter and a reliever. Rollie Fingers Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque Postcard. Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers won the 1981 AL Cy Young Award and '81 AL MVP Award. Perez-Steele Rollie Fingers Limited Edition Postcard. , New York Giants manager John McGraw in 1905 was one of the first to use a relief pitcher to save games. The three-inning relief appearance was as much a trademark of Fingers’ career as his Hall of Fame mustache. When Fingers reached the major leagues, the role of relief pitchers was limited, as starting pitchers rarely left games while holding a lead; but as team offense increased following the 1968 season, and especially with the American League's introduction of the designated hitter in 1973, managers became more willing to replace starters in the late innings with a lead in order to forestall any late rallies by opponents. Eckersley was the first closer in the one-inning save era to be inducted. “I’ll probably feel it later tonight or early tomorrow.”. “Whether I had anything to do with that or not, I’ll leave that up to others to determine.”. But fans didn’t come to the ballpark to see just that. Powered by Minute Media © 2020 All Rights Reserved. "A fellow has to have faith in God above and Rollie Fingers in the bullpen." Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Inside the Athletics on SI. “It’s a little daunting going back out there for the third inning, just because I haven’t done it,” Hendriks said afterward. Harold Baines was the A’s DH from 1990-1992 and played in a World Series (1990) and All-Star Game (1991). Fingers was the only pitcher who pitched at least three innings in more than 10 percent of his saves. I got more and more press, so I said, 'Okay,' and kept going and going. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page. The role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. Houston advances to the AL Championship Series after having a losing record in the abbreviated 2020 regular season. The Oakland Athletics won the American League West Division, but faltered against the Astros in the AL Division Series. $6.00. Tim Raines logged 58 games with Oakland and added four to his 808 total career steals in Green and Gold. You want the guy who can handle that pressure. Fingers finished his career with 114 wins, a record 341 saves, 1,299 strikeouts, a 2.90 ERA and 1,701.1 innings pitched in 944 games. , Tony La Russa while with the Oakland Athletics is frequently named as the innovator of the position, making Dennis Eckersley the first player to be used almost exclusively in ninth inning situations. His first two, 1977 and 1978, were the first won consecutively in the American League and he was the first pitcher from the junior circuit to win more than once. “I wanted to go to a contender.” he said in an interview. Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers won the 1981 AL Cy Young Award and '81 AL MVP Award. Eight pitchers who were primarily relievers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Your privacy is safe with us. He pitched Claude Elliott in relief eight times in his ten appearances.  The firemen came in whenever leads were in jeopardy, usually with men on base, and regardless of the inning and often pitching two or three innings while finishing the game. It’s not a part of Hendriks’ arsenal, but when he needed it, the pitches (37), the outs (nine) and the runs allowed (zero) were all there. Reddick struck out, then broke his bat walking back to the dugout. We'll never pass along your email address to spammers, scammers, or the like. ", The A's were winning with their new look, and, Fingers said, "Ballplayers are the most superstitious animals who ever lived. Baseball historian recalls how he helped develop statistic that measures reliever's effectiveness", "Pitching Keeps Cubs Armed And Ready After Getting Past Challenging Stretch", "Matthews: Girardi sank season in fifth inning", "Hoyt Wilhelm, First Reliever in the Hall of Fame, Dies", "Hall focus next year turns to Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner", "Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara nets ALCS MVP honors", Major League Baseball Career Saves Leaders, Major League Baseball Single Season Saves Leaders, Major League Baseball Active Saves Leaders, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Closer_(baseball)&oldid=983868834, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 October 2020, at 18:47.  For their careers, Sutter and Gossage had more saves of at least two innings than saves where they pitched one inning or less. What else are they supposed to do?" Now, he's the type of pitcher who has command of all of his pitches. Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3. That, to me, is most important. “You knew the game was in control.”. Unable to pitch in the World Series due to a torn arm muscle, Fingers and the Milwaukee Brewers lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games behind the leadership of Redbirds manager Whitey Herzog. Billy Williams, 16 years a Cub, played two years in Oakland and had 34 home runs, 122 RBI with a .231 batting average. Uniform jersey worn by Rollie Fingers during the 1974 World Series - B-420-74 (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library), Rollie Fingers, Oakland A's, first game of the World Series, October 12, 1974 at Dodger Stadium - BL-91-2005 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library), Rollie Fingers grew his mustache amidst the 1972 Mustache Gang trend, but it eventually became his trademark look. Matt Kramer was the 2010 public relations fall intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Rollie Fingers pitched for the Padres from 1977 through 1980, twice leading the National League in saves. DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 12: Mike Piazza of the Oakland Athletics bats during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan on August 12, 2007. Men's Majestic San Diego Padres Navy Team Hall of Famer T-Shirt. Herzog then immediately traded Fingers to the Brewers, helping both St. Louis and Milwaukee improve and setting up the classic 1982 World Series where the Redbirds beat the Brew Crew in seven games. Rollie Fingers was born on Sunday, August 25, 1946, in Steubenville, Ohio. He'd go on to gain a national platform on ESPN's Sunday baseball telecasts and would make an effort to buy the A's. Fingers won three World Series titles while with Oakland from 1972-74 and was the MVP of the 1974 Series, earning a win and two saves in four games. [a] Eckersley was the first closer in the one-inning save era to be inducted. Joe Morgan also played his final games in Oakland, the city where he was raised, hitting .244 with six home runs, 43 RBI at 40-years old. We became known as 'The Mustache Gang' and we won again the next year and the next year. That being said, he fully expects to be able to pitch in Thursday’s Game 4, in which Frankie Montas is scheduled to start, if the call comes. But he played 10 seasons with the A’s and just five seasons with the Yankees and appeared in more games (687-653) with the California Angels.  Similarly in Games 3 and 6 of the 2010 ALCS, each where the New York Yankees were trailing by two runs during a crucial inning, manager Joe Girardi did not go to Mariano Rivera, and both times the chosen relief pitcher gave up several runs which put the game out of reach for the Yankees; ESPN's Matthew Wallace lamented that "Girardi used Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 6, with the Yankees trailing 6–1, their ship long sailed to sea". But following the 1980 season, he was traded to the Cardinals and then quickly dealt to the Brewers, where he helped Milwaukee become an American League powerhouse. Mike Piazza ended his baseball career in Oakland, hitting .275 with eight homers and 44 RBI in 2007. https://baseballhall.org/discover/inside-pitch/fingers-trades-reshaped-franchises He may be the best modern closer, but you have to compare apples to apples. The trade rumors came to fruition when Fingers was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich just four days after being dealt to St. Louis, with David Green, Dave LaPoint, Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen heading to the Cardinals. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images). (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum), Goose Gossage (right) and Rollie Fingers stop for a quick bite at the Cooperstown Diner during Hall of Fame Weekend. , ESPN.com writer Jim Caple wrote that closers' saves in the ninth "merely conclude what is usually a foregone conclusion.
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