Friday, March 1, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2005 Topps #203 Trevor Hoffman

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, March 1, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2005 Topps #203.
  • Player Name, position, team: Trevor Hoffman, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: April 6, 1993.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2004 stats (Padres): 55 G, 54.2 IP, 3-3, 14 R, 14 ER, 53 SO, 8 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 41 SV, 0.91 WHIP, 2.30 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Reds #11th, June 1989. Traded by the Marlins to the Padres 06/24/1993. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 20. This is his thirteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "In 2005, Trevor has set his sights on becoming only the third pitcher to reach 400 career saves, joining Lee Smith and John Franco."
  • Commentary: By the time 2005 Topps came out, with its team-specific colored borders, large picture, team logo at the bottom in front of a black bar, and big gold letters that spelled out that player's name, it was clear that Topps came up with another winning design for the 2000's. By the time this card came out, Trevor Hoffman was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. Rarely ever did he have an off night. In San Diego, as soon as the opposing team heard AC/DC's Hells Bells, they knew that the game was just about over. And this was a guy that was originally drafted by the Reds as a shortstop. At the end of the 1992 season, Hoffman was left exposed to the 1993 Expansion Draft. The Marlins selected him as their fourth pick (the eighth player chosen overall). In his brief stay in Miami, he learned how to be an effective closer from one of the best in the game, Bryan Harvey. He was traded to the Padres in June in exchange for Gary Sheffield and others, with the Padres making sure that Hoffman would be included in the deal. He became the Padres' closer in 1994, a job he would eventually hold onto for nine straight seasons. In 2003, he underwent two shoulder surgeries, but returned late in the year in non-save situations. Hoffman returned to the closer role the following year, on the heels of a 2.30 ERA, a WHIP of 0.915 (thanks in part to 8 walks in 54.2 innings), 53 strikeouts, and most importantly 41 saves. In 2005, he may have gone 1-6, but he still posted a sub 3 ERA (2.97 to be exact) and WHIP of 1.110, and 43 saves for a team that went 82-80 but still managed to win the NL West Division title. When he signed on with the Brewers on January 8, 2009, his legacy with the Padres was ensured. He pitched in 902 regular season games for the Padres, setting a new record for appearances with one team (since broken by another closer, Mariano Rivera). He went 54-64 in his decisions earning an ERA of 2.76. He finished 761 of the games in which he worked, saving 552 of them, struck out 1029 of the 3821 batters he faced, and thanks to 255 walks (an average of just shy of 16 a season) had a career WHIP of 1.043. He left the game in 2010, becoming the first player to break not only the 500 save barrier, but the 600 level as well, finishing with 601 career saves. He was a seven-time All-Star, finished in second place twice for the Cy Young Award, and won multiple awards as a closer. More importantly, he was a team leader, and mentor to closers like Heath Bell and John Axford, the man who took over the closing role in Milwaukee. He is eligible for the HOF ballot in 2016, and while the closer's role in baseball is still a hot button topic of contention for BBWAA voters, there is little doubt that Trevor Hoffman will be among the greats that will eventually be inducted into Cooperstown.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 47.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1992 Topps #375. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Backstop Cards said...

I'm not a huge fan of this design by Topps, but it's a great shot of Trevor (as a lifetime Friar fan, we're on a first name basis). Nothing will ever top the adrenaline rush of Hell's Bells blaring from the speakers in the 9th inning. Great post.