This year, perhaps next, Mariano Rivera will catch and then pass him for the all-time big-league saves record, but as he officially walks into retirement today in San Diego, Trevor Hoffman goes out on top with 601 career saves.
Most came with San Diego, two were as a Marlin early in his career, the last 47 with Milwaukee - and 16 of them came against the Seattle Mariners, against whom he had a 1.07 earned run average in 25 career appearances.
Hoffman was never a flame-throwing stopper, and his out pitch throughout his career was a changeup that mirrored a split-fingered fastball in movement. It approached the plate and dove late. As they did with every long-term closer, hitters knew what was coming and still couldn't do much with the knowledge.
He threw his first big-league pitch in 1993, reached the post-season four times, the World Series once. This winter, he flew to Phoenix for a tryout with Arizona and former Padres-now Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers. The two men talked, but Hoffman wasn't signed.
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Yesterday, Hoffman called it a career, though he'll formally retire today and accept a job in the Padres front office.
The game will miss Hoffman, as it misses all its stars, eventually - but Hoffman almost as much off the field. He was as nice to fans once he was in street clothes as anyone in the game, signing autographs, talking baseball, posing for pictures. And he did that every day.
ESPN's Buster Olney went looking for anecdotes and got plenty of them, all worth reading on his blog.
Hoffman is one of those consumate professionals worthy of appreciation as he ends a Hall of Fame career, both for what he accomplished and the way in which he did so.