Monday, October 15, 2007

Most Saves in Final Season

Just what you wanted: another post in the "Most X in Final Season" series. This time I'm focusing on saves. I figure good relievers tend to hang on a while and closers generally remain closers until they retire, right?

Turns out this isn't often the case. In baseball history, only eleven men recorded as many as twenty saves in their final season. I suppose that makes sense, considering how many players on the top 100 active players in total saves are no longer closers. Roberto Hernandez, Troy Percival, Jose Mesa, Eddie Guardado, Tom Gordon, Mike Timlin, and Antonio Alfonseca appear in the top twenty alone. Oops, bad call on my part.

Here are the eleven players, with their final season saves totals:
  • Robb Nen, 43
  • Jeff Shaw, 43
  • Tom Henke, 36
  • Todd Worrell, 35
  • John Wetteland, 34
  • Mike Henneman, 31
  • Rick Aguilera, 29
  • Steve Olin, 29
  • Mike Williams, 28
  • Jeff Zimmerman, 28
  • Randy Myers, 28
The curious thing to me is how the dropoff from William, Zimmerman and Myers to Rollie Fingers and Russ Christopher (both 17) is so dramatic. Not one single player has recorded 18-27 saves in his final season? Weird.

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