Hoffman's 600th save spurs memories
PHOENIX -- Sometimes life has a funny way of coming back around. Trevor Hoffman finally recorded his 600th save in Milwaukee on Tuesday night when Aaron Miles of the Cardinals hit a routine ground ball to short.Meanwhile, Hoffman's protégée, Heath Bell, saved the game against the Dodgers in San Diego. And Hoffman's former Padres manager Bruce Bochy, now the Giants skipper, couldn't have been happier for the right-handed reliever as a he basked in a big win over the D-backs. Three games in three cities thousands of miles apart all with something in common: Hoffman had touched the lives of so many people from California to Wisconsin. "I've always said: I was fortunate to have had Trevor for most of my managerial career," Bochy said after the Giants won, 6-3, to remain one game behind the first-place Padres in the National League West race. "He did so much for me. Not just because of his talent and saving games, but who he is as a teammate and as a person. This is a mark that I believe very few pitchers will ever reach. I can't wait to talk to him and congratulate him." Bochy managed the Padres from 1995 to 2006 and for every one of those seasons, Hoffman was his closer. Hoffman arrived in a 1993 trade with the Marlins that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida and was widely panned at the time. It was engineered by then general manager Randy Smith during a Padres fire sale and turned out to be one of the best in club history. Hoffman recorded 552 of his 600 saves for the Padres, once a record for a reliever with a single team only recently surpassed by Mariano Rivera, who has saved 555 games as a Yankee. Hoffman has had 46 saves since he came to the Brewers as a free agent just prior to the 2009 season. The other two were with the Marlins. Hoffman's nine saves this year could have been a point of contention when Hoffman was taken out of the closer's role. But it wasn't. Nobody had to give him a reason. At 42, he had blown five saves, helping put the Brewers in a deep hole they never were able to climb out of this season. Consider that he's only blown 48 saves in his entire 18-year career. But like Hoffman did with Bell in 2008 as his time with the Padres began to wane, this season he mentored John Axford as his replacement. The lack of complaint and commitment to the team showed the Milwaukee hierarchy in great detail what Hoffman was made of.
|3||8/6/93||vs. Colorado (first as a Padre)|
|300||8/15/01||vs. New York Mets|
|400||5/6/05||at St. Louis|
|479||9/24/06||vs. Pittsburgh (breaks Lee Smith's all-time record)|
|500||6/6/07||vs. Los Angeles Dodgers|
|555||4/28/09||vs. Pittsburgh (first as a Brewer)|
|600||9/7/10||vs. St. Louis|
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.