Trevor Hoffman has come a long way.
Who would have guessed back in 1989 that the skinny shortstop and third baseman taken in the 11th round of the amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds would someday make history, becoming Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader?
Probably not even Jim Lett, Hoffman's manager in Single-A Charleston, who encouraged Trevor to try switching to pitcher in 1991. And switch he did.
Now, nearly 20 years and three teams after that fateful conversion, the legendary Marlins, Padres, and Brewers closer made history again.
Clad in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform, Trevor Hoffman entered the game in the ninth inning to AC/DC's "Hells Bells" (his signature calling card) and closed the door on the St. Louis Cardinals, preserving a 4-2 Brewers victory. The save was Hoffman's ninth on the season and, more importantly, his 600th save in a long, illustrious career.
As baseball fans worldwide celebrate the historic achievement, here's a look back at Trevor Hoffman's career closing milestones.
Trevor Hoffman Saves Timeline
April 29th, 1993: First Career Save—Florida Marlins def. Atlanta Braves
April 13th, 1997: 100th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. Philadelphia Phillies
June 23rd, 1997: 114th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. San Francisco Giants; Hoffman's 109th save as a Padre surpasses Rollie Fingers as he becomes San Diego's all-time saves leader.
June 10th, 1999: 200th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. Oakland A's
August 15th, 2001: 300th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. New York Mets
May 6th, 2005: 400th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. St. Louis Cardinals
September 24th, 2006: 479th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. Pittsburgh Pirates; Hoffman passes Lee Smith, establishing new Major League Baseball all-time saves record.
June 6th, 2007: 500th Career Save—San Diego Padres def. Los Angeles Dodgers
September 7th, 2010: 600th Career Save—Milwaukee Brewers def. St. Louis Cardinals
So what's next for the future Hall of Famer? Hoffman's not saying. He's elected to wait until the end of the season to decide on his future.
The Brewers and Hoffman have a mutual contract option for $7 million for 2011. If the option is not exercised, a $500,000 buyout clause kicks in.
Regardless of what his future holds, Hoffman will savor today. Congratulations, Trevor Hoffman, on your 600th career save!