List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders

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The following is a list of annual leaders in saves in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

Contents

Bruce Sutter is tied for Major League records in both total times leading the league in saves (5) and consecutive league-leading seasons (4) BruceSutterCardinals.jpg
Bruce Sutter is tied for Major League records in both total times leading the league in saves (5) and consecutive league-leading seasons (4)

In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever") earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. [1] The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an MLB official statistic in 1969. [2] [3] The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date.

MLB recognizes the player or players in each league [a] with the most saves each season. In retrospect, the five saves by Jack Manning meant he led the National League in its inaugural year, while Bill Hoffer was the American League's first saves champion with three. [4] Mordecai Brown was the first pitcher to record at least 10 saves in a season. Dan Quisenberry, Bruce Sutter, Firpo Marberry, and Ed Walsh are the only pitchers to lead the league in saves five times (though Marberry and Walsh did so before 1969). Sutter is also tied with Harry Wright, Dan Quisenberry and Craig Kimbrel for the most consecutive seasons leading the league in saves with four.

Footnotes

Related Research Articles

Save (baseball) Credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain circumstances

In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a pitcher earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The number of saves or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted are oft-cited statistics of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. The save statistic was created by journalist Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official MLB statistic in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular-season saves with 652, while Francisco Rodríguez earned the most saves in a single season with 62 in 2008.

Dan Quisenberry American baseball player

Daniel Raymond "Quiz" Quisenberry was an American right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played primarily for the Kansas City Royals. Notable for his submarine-style pitching delivery and his humorous quotes, he led the American League in saves a record five times. Quisenberry retired in 1990 with 244 saves, then the fifth-highest total in major league history.

Relief pitcher A baseball or softball pitcher that enters a game to pitch after a starting pitcher

In baseball and softball, a relief pitcher or reliever is a pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as inclement weather delays or pinch hitter substitutions. Relief pitchers are further divided informally into various roles, such as closers, setup men, middle relief pitchers, left/right-handed specialists, and long relievers. Whereas starting pitchers usually rest several days before pitching in a game again due to the number of pitches thrown, relief pitchers are expected to be more flexible and typically pitch more games but with fewer innings pitched. A team's staff of relievers is normally referred to metonymically as a team's bullpen, which refers to the area where the relievers sit during games, and where they warm-up prior to entering the game.

Bruce Sutter American baseball player

Howard Bruce Sutter is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1976 and 1988. He was one of the sport's dominant relievers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, making effective use of the split-finger fastball. A six-time All-Star and 1982 World Series champion, Sutter recorded a 2.83 career earned run average and 300 saves, the third-most in MLB history at the time of his retirement. Sutter won the National League's (NL) Cy Young Award in 1979 as its top pitcher, and won the NL Rolaids Relief Man Award four times. He became the only pitcher to lead the NL in saves five times.

Lee Smith (baseball) American baseball player (born 1957)

Lee Arthur Smith is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for eight teams. Serving mostly as a relief pitcher during his career, he was a dominant closer and held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when Trevor Hoffman passed his total of 478. Smith was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019 by the Today's Game Era Committee.

Ed Walsh American baseball player and manager (1881–1959)

Edward Augustine "Big Ed" Walsh was an American pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball. From 1906 to 1912, he had several seasons where he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Injuries shortened his career. Walsh holds the record for lowest career earned run average, 1.82. He is one of two modern (post-1901) pitchers to win 40 or more games in a single season, and the last pitcher to do so. He is the last pitcher from any team to throw more than 400 innings in a single season, a feat that he most recently accomplished in 1908. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

Tippy Martinez American baseball player

Felix Anthony "Tippy" Martinez, is an American retired professional baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched 14 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1974 and 1988, primarily as a relief pitcher. The majority of his career (1976–1986) was spent as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, where he was a member of 1983 World Series championship team.

1973 World Series 70th edition of Major League Baseballs championship series

The 1973 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1973 season. The 70th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Oakland Athletics and the National League (NL) champion New York Mets. The Athletics won the series in seven games for their second of three consecutive World Series titles.

Jeff Montgomery (baseball) American baseball player

Jeffrey Thomas Montgomery is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. During a 13-year baseball career, he pitched from 1987–1999, primarily for the Kansas City Royals.

Firpo Marberry American baseball player

Frederick "Firpo" Marberry was an American right-handed starting and relief pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1923 to 1936, most notably with the Washington Senators. The sport's first prominent reliever, he has been retroactively credited as having been the first pitcher to record 20 saves in a season, the first to make 50 relief appearances in a season or 300 in a career, and the only pitcher to lead the major leagues in saves six times. Since relief pitching was still seen as a lesser calling in a time when starters were only removed when clearly ineffective, Marberry also started 187 games in his career, posting a 94–52 record as a starter for a .644 winning percentage. He pitched in later years for the Detroit Tigers (1933–1935) and New York Giants (1936) before ending his career in Washington.

Hold (baseball) Baseball statistic

A hold is awarded to a relief pitcher who meets the following three conditions:

Dick Tidrow American baseball player and executive

Richard William Tidrow was an American professional baseball pitcher and the senior vice president of player personnel and senior advisor to the general manager for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Clem Labine American baseball player

Clement Walter Labine was an American right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) best known for his years with the Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers from 1950 to 1960. As a key member of the Dodgers in the early 1950s, he helped the team to its first World Series title in 1955 with a win and a save in four games. He is one of eight players in MLB history to have won back-to back World Series championships on different teams, the other seven being Joc Pederson, Ben Zobrist, Jake Peavy, Jack Morris, Bill Skowron, Don Gullett, and Ryan Theriot.

Joe Oeschger American baseball player

Joseph Carl Oeschger was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Brooklyn Robins from 1914 to 1925. Oeschger is best known for holding the MLB record for the most innings pitched in a single game. In 1920, both Oeschger and Leon Cadore pitched 26 innings for their respective teams in a game that was eventually called a tie due to darkness. After his baseball career ended, Oeschger was a teacher for the San Francisco Board of Education for 27 years.

300 save club Group of pitchers with 300 or more regular-season saves in their careers

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 300 save club is the group of pitchers who have recorded 300 or more regular-season saves in their careers. Most commonly a relief pitcher earns a save by being the final pitcher of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and pitching at least one inning without losing the lead. The final pitcher of a game can earn a save by getting at least one batter out to end the game with the winning run on base, at bat, or on deck, or by pitching the last three innings without relinquishing the lead, regardless of score. The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official statistic by MLB in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for past pitchers where applicable. Hoyt Wilhelm retired in 1972 and recorded just 31 saves from 1969 onwards, for example, but holds 228 total career saves.

The 1924 Washington Senators won 92 games, lost 62, and finished in first place in the American League. Fueled by the excitement of winning their first AL pennant, the Senators won the World Series in dramatic fashion, a 12-inning Game Seven victory.

Closer (baseball) Baseball relief pitcher who specializes in finishing close games

In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer, is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close game when his team is leading. The role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. Before the 1990s, pitchers in similar roles were referred to as a fireman, short reliever, and stopper. A small number of closers have won the Cy Young Award. Eight closers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm.

Craig Kimbrel American baseball pitcher

Craig Michael Kimbrel is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox. He is an eight-time All-Star, two-time Reliever of the Year, and a 2018 World Series champion. He is known for his triple-digit fastball, as well as his unique pre-pitch stare. Listed at 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg), he both throws and bats right-handed.

Shutout (baseball) Baseball achievement

In Major League Baseball, a shutout refers to the act by which a single pitcher pitches a complete game and does not allow the opposing team to score a run. If two or more pitchers combine to complete this act, no pitcher is awarded a shutout, although the team itself can be said to have "shut out" the opposing team.

Rolaids Relief Man Award

The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by the antacid brand Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1988 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.

References

General
Inline citations
  1. Horneman, Tim (March 23, 2010). "Baseball Save Rules". livestrong.com. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  2. Weber, Bruce (July 22, 2008). "Jerome Holtzman, 82, 'Dean' of Sportswriters, Dies". The New York Times . Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  3. Bloom, Barry (July 21, 2008). "Legendary historian Holtzman passes". MLB.com . Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  4. "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Saves". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  5. "Complete Baseball Team and Baseball Team Encyclopedias". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.