June 24, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Baseball hall of famer Goose Gossage tips his cap to the crowd before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
On this day in 1951 Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 18 years old when the White Sox drafted him in the ninth round in 1970.
Gossage only pitched 54 games in his minor league career but 37 of them came as a member of the Appleton Foxes, a White Sox affiliate at that time. Gossage was brilliant for the Foxes in 1971, making 25 appearances and going 18-2 with a 1.83 ERA.
Gossage made his major league debut with the White Sox in 1972 and went on to pitch 22 seasons in the big leagues, appearing in 1002 games (at the time the third highest total ever) and recording 310 saves (fourth in history at that point). 43 of those appearances and eleven of the saves came against the Brewers. He finished his career with ten or more saves against an MLB-record 22 different franchises, all the more impressive when you consider nearly all of his career was played before baseball's last two rounds of expansion.
Gossage was an inaugural member of the Appleton Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, and a decade later he was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He turns 61 today.