Trevor Hoffman’s remarkable career has culminated with his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 79.9% of the ballots on his third time through the process. He joins Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jim Thome in the class of 2018 inductees. Jones and Thome were elected on their first chance, while Guerrero was in his second.
Hoffman, of course, spent the large majority of his career with the San Diego Padres. He was acquired by the Pads from the Marlins in 1993 and went on to record 552 of his career 601 saves in a San Diego uniform. He recorded four postseason saves over three different postseasons with the Padres.
Milwaukee signed Hoffman to an outlandish $6 mil deal prior to the 2009 season, and he didn’t disappoint in his first go-round for the Crew. He put up 37 saves and posted an excellent WHIP of 0.90. He allowed just two home runs over his 54 innings of work, leaving him just nine short of the coveted 600 mark going into 2010. A slam dunk, amirite?
But Hoffman’s age-42 season saw the changeup artist hit the proverbial wall, and he finished the season barely nudging over that 600 mark with 601 career saves. In the process he lost his closing job to flame-throwing righty John Axford. Hoffman managed only 47.1 innings in 2010, getting hit hard and finishing with a 5.89 ERA and 8 homers allowed. His 2009 season was good for a 2.2 WAR contribution to the Brewers, while 2010 was a dismal -0.9.
Hoffman’s career began when he was drafted in the 11th round by the Reds back in 1989, when he was a shortstop. He converted to mound work in 1991 and was selected by the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft. He debuted with Florida next season but was traded to San Diego that summer as a part of the Gary Sheffield deal. Hoffman would spent the next 16 season with the Padres before joining the Brewers to finish out his career. Overall Hoffman appeared in 1,035 games in the MLB, pitching 1089.1 innings with a 2.87 ERA. He accumulated a 28.0 WAR over his 18 seasons, which ended with his 2010 season in Milwaukee. Hoffman’s best season came with San Diego in 1998. He saved 53 games that year with a 1.48 ERA and finished second in the league Cy Young voting. He appeared in seven All-Star games, including his 2009 season in Milwaukee, and won two reliever of the year awards.
Hells Bells was a favorite tune at Miller Park in 2009; the AC/DC song was Hoffman’s theme for much of his career, and echoed quite nicely, especially when the park was closed up.
Hoffman joins former Brewers Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Don Sutton, Rollie Fingers, and Henry Aaron in baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to the class of 2018, but especially to former Brewer Trevor Hoffman.
“My time in Milwaukee is looked upon as two of the most rewarding years of my career. The passionate baseball fans of ‘The Crew’ took me in and gave me great support.”— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 24, 2018
- Trevor Hoffman, HOF ‘18 pic.twitter.com/vTeYisyG6A
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference