Gerry Staley, Joe Nathan, Pat Neshek

January 4, 2021
            Gerry Staley, Joe Nathan, Pat Neshek

 

This little bit of research started with an off-hand comment I made in an e-mail to a friend.  I was writing about the 1959 Chicago White Sox, and I said that the White Sox had two of the five best relief pitchers in baseball that season, the 35-year-old Turk Lown and the 38-year-old Gerry Staley.   Then I got to wondering:  Is that really true?  Lown and Staley both had very good seasons, but were they actually two of the five best in baseball? 

            They were, actually, or at least I decided that they really were after researching the issue.  The top 5 relief pitchers of 1959 were:

1.     Roy Face

2.     Bill Henry

3.     Gerry Staley

4.     Turk Lown

5.     Stu Miller

There’s an argument that Lindy McDaniel belongs in there, but let’s move on.   From ranking the top relief pitchers of 1959, I moved on to ranking the top relief pitchers of every season by a combination of Win Shares and Season Score—which was quite easy to do, actually—and from there, I got interested in the question of relievers who repeat at or near the top of the list. 

By my ‘rithmatic, only six pitchers in baseball in baseball history have ever repeated as the #1 reliever in baseball in two consecutive seasons, and only one has made the top spot in three consecutive seasons.  Those pitchers are:

Firpo Marberry, 1925-1926

Johnny Murphy, 1936-1937

Joe Berry, 1944-1945

Dick Radatz, 1962-1963-1964

Eric Gagne, 2002-2003

Mariano Rivera, 2004-2005

My rules for making these lists require a Season Score of at least 100.  It’s a necessary rule, or we would otherwise be giving relievers credit, in a competitive measurement, for seasons in which they pitched 4 games, 5 innings and had a 8.70 ERA, but were nonetheless the second-best reliever in baseball.  A Season Score of 100 is not a high standard.  Lloyd Brown in 1935 was 8-7 with 4 Saves and a 3.61 ERA, and had a Season Score of 105, which marks him as the #1 reliever of 1935.  I don’t really want players with weaker seasons than that on the list.

And then there are rules for deciding who is and is not a "reliever", as opposed to a mixed-use pitcher.  Let’s not get into it.   The first pitcher to qualify for my lists was Carl Mays in 1915:

 

1915

 

1916

 

1917

1

Carl Mays

Bos AL

 

1

Bernie Boland

Det AL

 

1

Dave Danforth

Chi AL

                     

1919

 

1920

 

1921

1

Jean Dubuc

NY NL

 

1

Bill Sherdel

StL NL

 

1

Guy Morton

Cle AL

                     

1922

 

1923

 

1925

1

Claude Jonnard

NY NL

 

1

Allan Russell

Was AL

 

1

Firpo Marberry

Was AL

                     

1926

 

1927

 

1928

1

Firpo Marberry

Was AL

 

1

Garland Branxton

Was AL

 

1

Syl Johnson

StL NL

2

Joe Pate

Phil AL

 

2

Watty Clark

Bkn NL

       

3

Hooks Dauss

Det AL

               
                     

1929

               

1

Eddie Rommel

Phil AL

               

 

There was just one pitcher a year qualifying for the list through most of this era, sometimes none.  The last season when NOBODY in the majors qualified for the relief-pitcher list was 1934. 

Firpo Marberry’s season in 1926 was the standard of excellence for a reliever in that era.   Marberry is regarded by many people as the first true reliever, with much justification.  He was a very fine pitcher, worthy of note.  Some people have tried to portray him as a Hall of Famer, although, in my judgment, his career is not quite near that stature.  He didn’t have enough big seasons; he was not dominant enough; his impact on his teams or on the game was not substantial enough.  His contributions are more on the level of Mark Langston, Bob Welch, Tom Gordon, Jimmie Key, somebody like that, rather than a Hall of Famer.   If the concept of "relief ace" had taken hold through Marberry, that would not make him a Hall of Famer, but it would be a point in his favor.   But that didn’t happen.  The idea of a relief ace did NOT catch on after Marberry’s example.  It didn’t catch on until at least 25 years later, about 1952.  The 1930s:

 

1931

 

1933

 

1935

1

Bump Hadley

Was AL

 

1

Jack Russell

Was AL

 

1

Lloyd Brown

Cle AL

2

Jack Quinn

Bkn NL

 

2

Hi Bell

NY NL

 

2

Don Brennan

Cin NL

       

3

Dolf Luque

NY NL

       
       

4

Joe Heving

Chi AL

       
                     

1936

 

1937

 

1938

1

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

 

1

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

 

1

Jumbo Brown

NY NL

       

2

Clint Brown

Chi AL

 

2

Mace Brown

Pit NL

       

3

Dick Coffman

NY NL

 

3

Dick Coffman

NY NL

               

4

Jack Russell

Chi NL

               

5

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

                     

1939

       

1

Clint Brown

Chi AL

               

2

Joe Heving

Bos AL

               

3

Hooks Dauss

Det AL

               

 

These generalizations are essentially true:

1)     Prior to 1921, there was no such thing as a relief pitcher.  There were just a handful of pitchers, not considered worthy of pitching in significant situations at that time, who worked out of the bullpen.

 

2)     From 1921 to 1935, all pitchers were both starters and relievers.  Every pitcher in baseball, without exception, started games when needed, and pitched in relief when needed.   Lefty Grove, Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell.  .they all pitched in relief, and not just once or twice a season, but 15 or 20 times a season, as the need arose.  And the top "relievers" of that era, Marberry and others such as one can find them, all started when they were needed. 

 

3)     In 1936 Joe McCarthy of the Yankees divided his team into starters and relievers.  He stopped using his best starters, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez, in relief, and mostly stopped using his best relievers, Johnny Murphy and Jumbo Brown, as spot starters.  This is the real dividing line that marks the emergence of professional relief pitchers. 

 

4)      While relief pitching had a herky-jerky emergence from garbage time to a key role on the team, it does seem to be true that the teams which experimented with relievers in that transitional era derived important benefits from it.  When Firpo Marberry came forward for the Senators in 1924, the Senators won the pennant for the first times ever, 1924-1925.  In 1928 the only National League team that had a pretty good reliever was the Cardinals—and the Cardinals won the National League, although Syl Johnson was also used as a spot starter.  In 1929 the only American League team that had a pretty good reliever was the Philadelphia A’s—and the A’s won the American League pennant, although Eddie Rommel was still used as a spot starter.  In 1933 the only teams that had real relievers of any quality were the Senators and the Giants, and the Senators and the Giants met in the World Series. 

 

In the seven seasons 1929 to 1935, despite having Ruth and Gehrig and Dickey and Lazzeri and Combs and Ruffing and Gomez, the Yankees won the pennant only once in seven years.  One of the things that put them back ahead of the league, helping them to four straight World Series, was McCarthy’s line of demarcation between his starters and his relievers.  It is one of the little-noted breakthroughs in baseball history.   The 1940s:

 

1940

 

1941

 

1942

1

Joe Beggs

Was AL

 

1

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

 

1

Ace Adams

NY NL

2

Joe Heving

Bos AL

 

2

Dutch Dietz

Pit NL

 

2

Hugh Casey

Bkn NL

3

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

 

3

Joe Heving

Cle AL

 

3

Joe Haynes

Chi AL

               

4

Joe Beggs

Cin AL

               

5

George Caster

StL AL

               

6

Murry Dickson

StL NL

               

7

Harry Feldman

NY NL

               

8

Mace Brown

Bos AL

               

9

Tom Ferrick

Cle AL

                     

1943

 

1944

 

1945

1

Clyde Shoun

Cin AL

 

1

Joe Berry

Phi AL

 

1

Joe Berry

Phi AL

2

Ace Adams

NY NL

 

2

Joe Heving

Cle AL

 

2

Andy Karl

Phi NL

3

G Maltzberger

Chi AL

 

3

G Maltzberger

Chi AL

 

3

Ace Adams

NY NL

4

Johnny Murphy

NY AL

 

4

Mike Ryba

Bos AL

 

4

A Carrasquel

Was AL

5

Mace Brown

Bos AL

 

5

George Caster

StL AL

 

5

Cy Buker

Bkn NL

6

Joe Beggs

Cin NL

         

6

Frank Barrett

Bos AL

7

Joe Haynes

Chi AL

               

8

Mike Ryba

Bos AL

               

9

George Caster

StL AL

               
                     

1946

 

1947

 

1948

1

Earl Caldwell

Chi AL

 

1

Joe Page

NY AL

 

1

Ted Wilks

Stl NL

2

Hugh Casey

Bkn NL

 

2

Russ Christopher

Phi AL

 

2

Harry Gumbert

Cin NL

3

Emil Kush

Chi NL

 

3

Hugh Casey

Bkn NL

 

3

Kirby Higbe

Pit NL

4

Ted Wilks

StL NL

 

4

Ed Klieman

Cle AL

 

4

Bobby Hogue

Bos NL

5

Art Herring

Bkn NL

 

5

Emil Kush

Chi NL

 

5

Jess Dobernic

Chi NL

       

6

Ken Trinkle

NY NL

 

6

R Christopher

Cle AL

                     

1949

               

1

Joe Page

NY AL

               

2

Ted Wilks

StL NL

               

3

Jim Konstanty

Phi NL

               

 

            Firpo Marberry’s season in 1926—64 games, 12-7 Won-Lost Record, 3.00 ERA and 22 Saves—that remained the standard of excellence for a Relief Pitcher until Joe Page in 1947 and 1949, with the Yankees.  I became a baseball fan in 1961, and Joe Page was still a figure, then; he was still something that the sportswriters talked about.  He was a hard thrower.  He was brought into the games not because the starting pitcher was tired and was getting beat up, but because the manager wanted Joe Page on the mound with the game on the line.  He was brought in in preference to the starting pitcher, not as a substitute for the starting pitcher.  You can argue that Joe Page was the first pitcher ever used that way; you can argue that Hugh Casey was used that way in Brooklyn, by Durocher.  Hugh Casey had very good seasons in 1942 and 1946, but Joe Page 1947-1949 was the greatest reliever baseball had ever seen, up to that time.

            But by the end of the 1940s, we’re still at a very primitive point in the evolution of the bullpen. Most relievers at that time are still either unproven pitchers who would later become starters, or older starters hanging on.  Very few teams had a relief pitcher that they wanted in the game.  In 1949 only three teams even had a reliever of any significance. 

            In 1950, of course, Jim Konstanty was the National League MVP.  He was not only the best relief pitcher in baseball; he was the only relief pitcher in baseball of any significance:

 

1950

 

1951

 

1952

1

Jim Konstanty

Phi NL

 

1

Ellis Kinder

Bos AL

 

1

Joe Black

Bkn NL

       

2

Al Brazle

StL NL

 

2

Hoyt Wilhelm

NY NL

       

3

Dutch Leonard

Chi NL

 

3

Al Brazle

StL NL

       

4

Clyde King

Bkn NL

 

4

Eddie Yuhas

StL NL

       

5

Luis Aloma

Chi AL

 

5

Satchel Paige

StL AL

       

6

Ted Wilks

Pit NL

 

6

Harry Dorish

Chi AL

               

7

Frank Smith

Cin NL

               

8

Dutch Leonard

Chi NL

               

9

S Consuegra

Was AL

                     

1953

 

1954

 

1955

1

Ellis Kinder

Bos AL

 

1

Marv Grissom

NY NL

 

1

Clem Labine

Bkn NL

2

Harry Dorish

Chi AL

 

2

Hoyt Wilhelm

NY NL

 

2

Ray Narleski

Cle AL

3

Clem Labine

Bkn NL

 

3

Dave Jolly

Mil NL

 

3

Hersh Freeman

Cin NL

4

Hoyt Wilhelm

NY NL

 

4

Jim Hughes

Bkin NL

 

4

J Konstanty

NY AL

5

Hal White

StL NL

 

5

Don Mossi

Cle AL

 

5

S Consuegra

Chi AL

6

Marlin Stuart

StL AL

 

6

Johnny Sain

NY AL

 

6

Ellis Kinder

Bos AL

       

7

Frank Smith

Cin NL

 

7

Dixie Howell

Chi AL

       

8

Harry Dorish

Chi AL

 

8

Tom Gorman

KC AL

       

9

Ray Narleski

Cle AL

 

9

Don Mossi

Cle AL

       

10

Ellis Kinder

Bos AL

 

10

Bob Miller

Phi AL

                     
                     

1956

 

1957

 

1958

1

Hersh Freeman

Cin NL

 

1

Bob Grim

NY AL

 

1

Dick Hyde

Was AL

2

Clem Labine

Bkn NL

 

2

George Zuverink

Bal AL

 

2

Ryne Duren

NY AL

3

Ike Delock

Bos AL

 

3

Turk Farrell

Phi NL

 

3

Roy Face

Pit NL

4

Roy Face

Pit NL

 

4

Gerry Staley

Chi AL

 

4

Don Elston

Chi NL

5

Turk Lown

Chi NL

 

5

Ed Roebuck

Bkn NL

 

5

Leo Kiely

Bos AL

6

Marv Grissom

NY NL

 

6

Cal McLish

Cle AL

 

6

Turk Farrell

Phi NL

7

Don Bessent

Bkn NL

 

7

Ken Lehman

Bal AL

 

7

Bill Henry

Chi NL

8

Ellis Kinder

Chi AL

 

8

Virgil Trucks

KC AL

 

8

Murray Wall

Bos AL

9

Don Mossi

Cle AL

 

9

Marv Grissom

NY NL

 

9

Don McMahon

Mil NL

       

10

Ike Delock

Bos AL

       
                     
                     

1959

               

1

Roy Face

Pit NL

               

2

Bill Henry

Chi NL

               

3

Gerry Staley

Chi AL

               

4

Turk Lown

Chi AL

               

5

Stu Miller

SF NL

               

6

Lindy McDaniel

StL NL

               

7

Don McMahon

Mil NL

               

8

Don Elston

Chi NL

               

9

Ryne Duren

NY AL

               

10

Bobby Shantz

NY AL

               

 

            Look, I am aware that the selection of Jim Konstanty as the National League’s MVP is, by modern standards, kind of absurd.  Konstanty had 4.4 WAR; Eddie Stanky had 8.2.  Earl Torgeson had 5.9 WAR, and was not mentioned in NL MVP voting.  The selection of Konstanty as the MVP can be taken as an insult to Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn and Del Ennis, the players who actually drove the 1950 Phillies to the pennant.

            But what is missing here is that Konstanty was far, far more valuable than any other major league reliever.  Other than Konstanty, the best relief pitcher in baseball in 1950 would have been Luis Aloma, who was 7-2 with four saves and a 3.80 ERA for the White Sox, or Dutch Leonard, who was 5-1 with six saves and a 3.77 ERA for the Cubs. 

            Konstanty’s MVP campaign was, in fact, the best season that any major league relief pitcher had ever had up to 1950.  When the Phillies went into the World Series, they pulled Konstanty, who had not started a game all season, out of the bullpen, and had him start the first game of the World Series.  Konstanty pitched well in that game, but this illustrates the extent to which they still didn’t get it.   They still didn’t really believe in this "relief pitcher" thing.  Konstanty did pitch well in the first game of the 1950 World Series—but then he was not available to pitch in the second game, which the Phillies lost in the 10th inning, or the third game, in which the Phillies held a 2-1 lead after seven, but lost after they gave up runs in the 8th and 9th, because they had no bullpen. 

            The 1950s represented continued progress on the "acceptance of relievers as a valued part of the game" front, particularly 1952.  In 1952 the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals all came up with rookie relief pitchers.  Joe Black of the Dodgers went 15-4 with a 2.15 ERA, Hoyt Wilhelm of the Giants was 15-3 with a 2.43 ERA,  and Eddie Yuhas  of the Cardinals was 12-2 with a 2.72 ERA.  Those three teams finished 1-2-3 in the National League. 

            People were beginning to figure it out—and yet, they weren’t.  In 1954 the New York Giants won the World Championship, and baseball remembers that they did that because they had the best player in baseball, Willie Mays, and the Best Pitcher in baseball, Johnny Antonelli, who was 21-7 with a 2.30 ERA.  But if you look at that Giants’ team, you may notice that, by the standards of a championship team, the rest of it is terrible.  The regular catcher hit .187, the regular first baseman hit .251 with 16 homers and 60 RBI, playing almost every game, and the regular second baseman hit .222 with 9 homers, 46 RBI, playing almost every game. 

            They won in part because they had the two best relief pitchers in baseball, Marv Grissom and Hoyt Wilhelm.   Between them, Grissom and Wilhelm pitched almost as many innings as Antonelli, went 22-11, added 24 saves, and had a better ERA than Antonelli did.  The bullpen is the "third reason" that team won, and the reason they had a huge advantage in the bullpen was, most teams still were not really trying to develop a bullpen.

            The point I am trying to sell you is, you had to beat these guys over the head with a tire iron to get them to understand the significance of a good reliever.  It had been 30 years since Firpo Marberry; it had been almost 20 years since Joe McCarthy divided his staff into starters and relievers; it had been seven years since Joe Page emerged, it had been four years since Jim Konstanty was the NL MVP, and they still didn’t get it.   They still thought of relieving as a transitional stage into or out of the starting rotation.  If a pitcher pitched well out of the bullpen, like Ike Delock or Don Mossi or Sandy Consuegra, they would move him into the starting rotation, see if he could handle a "real" job.  Hoyt Wilhelm was moved into the starting rotation in 1959.  Turk Farrell, one of the best relief pitchers in baseball in 1957, 1958 and 1960, moved into the starting rotation for several years.  When he lost effectiveness, he moved back into the bullpen.  Many times they were GOOD starting pitchers.  Hank Aguirre, after good years in the bullpen in 1960-61, moved into the starting rotation in 1962, and led the American League in ERA. 

            And sometimes they weren’t.  Goose Gossage in 1975 was the best relief pitcher in baseball.  In 1976 he moved into the starting rotation, where he was 9-17 with an ERA 10% worse than the league.   Why?  Because he was being managed by a 1950s manager, Paul Richards, and that was the thinking of the 1950s:

1)     Your best arms belong in the starting rotation,

2)     You win or lose based on your starting pitching,

3)     A good pitcher HAS to be able to pitch nine innings in a game, and

4)     The bullpen is for your second-line pitchers. 

In 1977, when I started the Baseball Abstract, the term "7-inning pitcher" was still an insult, still in use.  It meant that the pitcher was good for seven innings, but would lose the game because he couldn’t finish it.  Those ideas were so deeply rooted in the minds of baseball men that it took fifty years and many tire irons to beat them out of there. 

But by the end of the 1950s, we were beginning to get there.  1958 was the last season ever (until 2020) when there were not 10 relievers who had good enough seasons to make up a ten-person list.   The 1960s:

 

1960

 

1961

 

1962

1

Lindy McDaniel

StL NL

 

1

Luis Arroyo

NY AL

 

1

Dick Radatz

Bos AL

2

Roy Face

Pit NL

 

2

Stu Miller

SF NL

 

2

Roy Face

Pit NL

3

Gerry Staley

Chi AL

 

3

Hoyt Wilhelm

Bal AL

 

3

Jck Baldschun

Phi NL

4

Mike Fornieles

Bos AL

 

4

Tom Morgan

Cal AL

 

4

Hoyt Wilhelm

Bal AL

5

Turk Farrell

Phil NL

 

5

Jim Brosnan

Cin NL

 

5

Don McMahon

Hou NL

6

Jim Brosnan

Cin NL

 

6

Turk Lown

Chi AL

 

6

Rn Perranoski

LA NL

7

Ed Roebuck

LA NL

 

7

Terry Fox

Det AL

 

7

Ed Roebuck

LA NL

8

Larry Sherry

LA NL

 

8

Frank Funk

Cle AL

 

8

Dick Hlal

Bal NL

9

Hank Aguirre

Det NL

 

9

Don McMahon

Mil NL

 

9

Terry Fox

Det AL

10

Don Elston

Chi NL

 

10

Bill Henry

Cin NL

 

10

Mar Bridges

NY AL

 

            Lindy McDaniel in 1960 had the best year that any reliever had ever had, up to that point in time.  I’ve been tracing the evolution of the title "greatest season ever by a reliever."  It starts with Firpo Marberry, 1926, and then passes to Joe Page, 1947-1949, then to Konstanty, 1950, then to Lindy McDaniel, 1960.  McDaniel had a good year as a starter in 1957, failed as a starter in 1958 and was moved out to the bullpen, but was very good out of the bullpen in 1959.  In his first eight appearances of 1960, all out of the bullpen, he pitched 13.2 innings with an ERA of 0.00, also zero un-earned runs.   By the thinking of the time, this meant that he was ready to move back into the rotation, so he did—for two starts.  He was shelled both times, giving up a total of 12 runs, lifting his ERA to 4.21.  

            So he went back to the bullpen, where he was borderline unbelievable.  For the season he pitched 63 times in relief, 104 innings, was 12-2 with a 1.29 ERA, and had 27 Saves, which still were not an official statistic in 1960.  He was probably the best pitcher in baseball, although he finished third in the Cy Young voting, 5th in the MVP race.

            But he held the title (best season ever by a reliever) for only one year.  In 1961 Luis Arroyo was 15-5 with 29 Saves and a 2.19 ERA.   He was a part of a New York Yankee team that went 109-53, Arroyo often relieving Whitey Ford, who was 25-4.  Bob Feller, who went into the Hall of Fame in 1962, suggested that, since starting pitchers were no longer able to finish their games, perhaps in the future they should go into the Hall of Fame as tandems, like Ford and Arroyo.  Whitey Ford did not appreciate the suggestion. 

            But there was another transaction that season that was also instructive about the way that relief pitchers were regarded.  Don McMahon was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball in 1959, had a bad season in 1960, but was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball again in 1961. 

            In 1962 McMahon started the season slowly, giving up one run in each of his first two outings of the season.  Incredibly enough, the Braves then SOLD him to the Houston Colt .45s, a 1962 expansion team.  McMahon pitched 51 times for Houston, with a 1.53 ERA.   The Braves, who had as talented a roster as any team in baseball, with Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Torre, Del Crandall, Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette, finished 5th, in part because their bullpen was crap.  Their bullpen was crap for years after that, frankly; their bullpen was crap in ’62, ’63, ’64, and those were all teams that should have been in the fight for the NL title.  But they gave Don McMahon away after two so-so outings, one run in each game.  They just did not respect the importance of the bullpen. 

           

            Well, I am losing focus on my project here.   What I was really trying to do here was to address this question:  How often is a pitcher who among the best relievers in baseball still among the best relievers in baseball the next season?  That was really what I was trying to get to; I’ll get to it tomorrow. Let’s move it along at a quicker pace.  Dick Radatz was the best relief pitcher in baseball in 1962-1963-1964:

 

 

1962

 

1963

 

1962

1

Dick Radatz

Bos AL

 

1

Dick Radatz

Bos AL

 

1

Dick Radatz

Bos AL

2

Roy Face

Pit NL

 

2

Ron Perranoski

LA NL

 

2

Hoyr Wilhelm

Chi AL

3

Jck Baldschun

Phi NL

 

3

Bill Dailey

Min AL

 

3

Bob Lee

Cal AL

4

Hoyt Wilhelm

Bal AL

 

4

Al McBean

Pit NL

 

4

Al McBean

Pit NL

5

Don McMahon

Hou NL

 

5

Jack Baldschun

Phi NL

 

5

Sammy Ellis

Cin NL

6

Rn Perranoski

LA NL

 

6

Lindy McDaniel

Chi NL

 

6

Dick Hlal

Bal AL

7

Ed Roebuck

LA NL

 

7

Hal Woodeschick

Hou NL

 

7

Wes Stock

KC AL

8

Dick Hlal

Bal NL

 

8

Stu Miller

Bal AL

 

8

Ron Kline

Was AL

9

Terry Fox

Det AL

 

9

Hoyt Wilhelm

Chi AL

 

9

Don McMahon

Cle AL

10

Mar Bridges

NY AL

 

10

Ron Taylor

Stl NL

 

10

John Wyatt

KC AL

 

            Dick Radatz in 1963 beat Arroyo in 1961 for the most high-impact relief season in history, and then Radatz in 1964 beat Radatz in 1963.   And, as mentioned, Radatz was and still is the only pitcher ever to be the #1 reliever in baseball for three straight seasons.     

            Trying to move this along now; these are the Top 10 relievers for each year 1965 to 2019.   There are no Top 10 relievers for 2020, since no one had an impressive enough season in 2020 to qualify for the list.

 

Rank

First

Last

Team

Lg

Year

1

Eddie

Fisher

Chi

AL

1965

2

Stu

Miller

Bal

AL

1965

3

Bob

Lee

Angels

AL

1965

4

Hoyt

Wilhelm

Chi

AL

1965

5

Frank

Linzy

SF

NL

1965

6

Billy

O'Dell

Mil

NL

1965

7

Ted

Abernathy

Chi

NL

1965

8

Ron

Kline

Wash

AL

1965

9

Al

Worthington

Min

AL

1965

10

Al

McBean

Pitt

NL

1965

           

1

Phil

Regan

LA

NL

1966

2

Jack

Aker

KC

AL

1966

3

Stu

Miller

Bal

AL

1966

4

Joe

Hoerner

StL

NL

1966

5

Al

Worthington

Min

AL

1966

6

Billy

McCool

Cin

NL

1966

7

Clay

Carroll

Atl

NL

1966

8

Ron

Kline

Wash

AL

1966

9

Eddie

Fisher

Chi-Bal

AL

1966

10

Lindy

McDaniel

SF

NL

1966

           

1

Ted

Abernathy

Cin

NL

1967

2

Minnie

Rojas

Angels

AL

1967

3

Bob

Locker

Chi

AL

1967

4

Frank

Linzy

SF

NL

1967

5

Hoyt

Wilhelm

Chi

AL

1967

6

Turk

Farrell

Hou-Phil

NL

1967

7

John

Wyatt

Bos

AL

1967

8

Moe

Drabowsky

Bal

AL

1967

9

Ron

Perranoski

LA

NL

1967

10

Don

McMahon

Bos-Chi

AL

1967

           

1

Phil

Regan

LA-Chi

NL

1968

2

Wilbur

Wood

Chi

AL

1968

3

Ron

Kline

Pitt

NL

1968

4

Ted

Abernathy

Cin

NL

1968

5

Joe

Hoerner

StL

NL

1968

6

Clay

Carroll

Atl-Cin

NL

1968

7

Hoyt

Wilhelm

Chi

AL

1968

8

Jim

Brewer

LA

NL

1968

9

Frank

Linzy

SF

NL

1968

10

Vicente

Romo

LA-Cle

B

1968

           

1

Ron

Perranoski

Min

AL

1969

2

Ken

Tatum

Angels

AL

1969

3

Wayne

Granger

Cin

NL

1969

4

Sparky

Lyle

Bos

AL

1969

5

Darold

Knowles

Wash

AL

1969

6

Cecil

Upshaw

Atl

NL

1969

7

Tug

McGraw

NY

NL

1969

8

Diego

Segui

Sea

AL

1969

9

Eddie

Watt

Bal

AL

1969

10

Phil

Regan

Chi

NL

1969

           

 

 

            Radatz was a big guy who mostly pumped fast balls.  But after him, there wasn’t another hard thrower who ranked as the #1 reliever in baseball until Goose Gossage in 1975.  Eddie Fisher was a knuckle-ball pitcher, Phil Regan an aging starter, Ted Abernathy threw underhand, Perranoski lived on a big curveball, Sanders and Grant were older starters, Lyle and Hiller were crafty lefties. 

 

1

Mudcat

Grant

Oak-Pit

AL

1970

2

Lindy

McDaniel

NY

AL

1970

3

Stan

Williams

Min

AL

1970

4

Dick

Selma

Phil

NL

1970

5

Dave

Giusti

Pitt

NL

1970

6

Ron

Perranoski

Min

AL

1970

7

Wayne

Granger

Cin

NL

1970

8

Ken

Sanders

Mil

AL

1970

9

Don

McMahon

SF

NL

1970

10

Clay

Carroll

Cin

NL

1970

           

1

Ken

Sanders

Mil

AL

1971

2

Tug

McGraw

NY

NL

1971

3

Fred

Scherman

Det

AL

1971

4

Clay

Carroll

Cin

NL

1971

5

Jim

Brewer

LA

NL

1971

6

Bob 4

Miller

3 tms

NL

1971

7

Tom

Burgmeier

KC

AL

1971

8

Danny

Frisella

NY

NL

1971

9

Jerry

Johnson

SF

NL

1971

10

Jim

Ray

Hou

NL

1971

           

1

Sparky

Lyle

NY

AL

1972

2

Mike

Marshall

Mon

NL

1972

3

Tug

McGraw

NY

NL

1972

4

Clay

Carroll

Cin

NL

1972

5

Rollie

Fingers

Oak

AL

1972

6

Terry

Forster

Chi

AL

1972

7

Jim

Brewer

LA

NL

1972

8

Dave

Giusti

Pitt

NL

1972

9

Tom

Hall

Cin

NL

1972

10

Ramon

Hernandez

Pitt

NL

1972

           

1

John

Hiller

Det

AL

1973

2

Mike

Marshall

Mon

NL

1973

3

Dave

Giusti

Pitt

NL

1973

4

Pedro

Borbon

Cin

NL

1973

5

Rollie

Fingers

Oak

AL

1973

6

Lindy

McDaniel

NY

AL

1973

7

Cy

Acosta

Chi

AL

1973

8

Grant

Jackson

Bal

AL

1973

9

Bob

Locker

Chi

NL

1973

10

Elias

Sosa

SF

NL

1973

 

 

1

Mike

Marshall

LA

NL

1974

2

Sparky

Lyle

NY

AL

1974

3

Tom

Murphy

Mil

AL

1974

4

John

Hiller

Det

AL

1974

5

Rollie

Fingers

Oak

AL

1974

6

Bill

Campbell

Min

AL

1974

7

Steve

Foucault

Tex

AL

1974

8

Clay

Carroll

Cin

NL

1974

9

Tom

House

Atl

NL

1974

10

Chuck

Taylor

Mon

NL

1974

           

1

Goose

Gossage

Chi

AL

1975

2

Al

Hrabosky

StL

NL

1975

3

Rollie

Fingers

Oak

AL

1975

4

Jim

Todd

Oak

AL

1975

5

Rawly

Eastwick

Cin

NL

1975

6

Paul

Lindblad

Oak

AL

1975

7

Dave

LaRoche

Cle

AL

1975

8

Will

McEnaney

Cin

NL

1975

9

Bob

Apodaca

NY

NL

1975

10

Tug

McGraw

Phil

NL

1975

           

1

Bill

Campbell

Min

AL

1976

2

Rawly

Eastwick

Cin

NL

1976

3

Rollie

Fingers

Oak

AL

1976

4

Charlie

Hough

LA

NL

1976

5

Butch

Metzger

SD

NL

1976

6

John

Hiller

Det

AL

1976

7

Mark

Littell

KC

AL

1976

8

Sparky

Lyle

NY

AL

1976

9

Skip

Lockwood

NY

NL

1976

10

Jim

Kern

Cle

AL

1976

           

1

Goose

Gossage

Pitt

NL

1977

2

Sparky

Lyle

NY

AL

1977

3

Bruce

Sutter

Chi

NL

1977

4

Bill

Campbell

Bos

AL

1977

5

Tom

Johnson

Min

AL

1977

6

Rollie

Fingers

SD

NL

1977

7

Gary

Lavelle

SF

NL

1977

8

Lerrin

LaGrow

Chi

AL

1977

9

Gene

Garber

Phil

NL

1977

10

Pedro

Borbon

Cin

NL

1977

 

1

Kent

Tekulve

Pitt

NL

1978

2

Goose

Gossage

NY

AL

1978

3

Bob

Stanley

Bos

AL

1978

4

Doug

Bair

Cin

NL

1978

5

Gene

Garber

Phil-Atl

NL

1978

6

John

Hiller

Det

AL

1978

7

Rollie

Fingers

SD

NL

1978

8

Elias

Sosa

Oak

AL

1978

9

Mike

Marshall

Min

AL

1978

10

Dave

LaRoche

Angels

AL

1978

           

1

Jim

Kern

Tex

AL

1979

2

Aurelio

Lopez

Det

AL

1979

3

Kent

Tekulve

Pitt

NL

1979

4

Mike

Marshall

Min

AL

1979

5

Bruce

Sutter

Chi

NL

1979

6

Sid

Monge

Cle

AL

1979

7

Joe

Sambito

Hou

NL

1979

8

Elias

Sosa

Mon

NL

1979

9

Ron

Davis

NY

AL

1979

10

Mark

Littell

StL

NL

1979

           

1

Doug

Corbett

Min

AL

1980

2

Goose

Gossage

NY

AL

1980

3

Dan

Quisenberry

KC

AL

1980

4

Tug

McGraw

Phil

NL

1980

5

Tom

Hume

Cin

NL

1980

6

Rick

Camp

Atl

NL

1980

7

Danny

Darwin

Tex

AL

1980

8

Aurelio

Lopez

Det

AL

1980

9

Rollie

Fingers

SD

NL

1980

10

Joe

Sambito

Hou

NL

1980

           

1

Rollie

Fingers

Mil

AL

1981

2

Rick

Camp

Atl

NL

1981

3

Goose

Gossage

NY

AL

1981

4

Gary

Lucas

SD

NL

1981

5

Bruce

Sutter

StL

NL

1981

6

Al

Holland

SF

NL

1981

7

Jeff

Reardon

NY

NL

1981

8

Greg

Minton

SF

NL

1981

9

LaMarr

Hoyt

Chi

AL

1981

10

Steve

Comer

Tex

AL

1981

 

1

Greg

Minton

SF

NL

1982

2

Dan

Quisenberry

KC

AL

1982

3

Bill

Caudill

Sea

AL

1982

4

Jeff

Reardon

Mon

NL

1982

5

Dan

Spillner

Cle

AL

1982

6

Kent

Tekulve

Pitt

NL

1982

7

Luis

DeLeon

SD

NL

1982

8

Gene

Garber

Atl

NL

1982

9

Bob

Stanley

Bos

AL

1982

10

Bruce

Sutter

StL

NL

1982

           

1

Dan

Quisenberry

KC

AL

1983

2

Jesse

Orosco

NY

NL

1983

3

Goose

Gossage

NY

AL

1983

4

Tippy

Martinez

Bal

AL

1983

5

Al

Holland

Phil

NL

1983

6

Kent

Tekulve

Pitt

NL

1983

7

Lee

Smith

Chi

NL

1983

8

Bob

Stanley

Bos

AL

1983

9

Tom

Niedenfuer

LA

NL

1983

10

Dave

Stewart

LA-Tex

NL

1983

           

1

Willie

Hernandez

Det

AL

1984

2

Bruce

Sutter

StL

NL

1984

3

Dan

Quisenberry

KC

AL

1984

4

Bill

Caudill

Oak

AL

1984

5

Jesse

Orosco

NY

NL

1984

6

Aurelio

Lopez

Det

AL

1984

7

Goose

Gossage

SD

NL

1984

8

Dave

Righetti

NY

AL

1984

9

Bill

Dawley

Hou

NL

1984

10

Lee

Smith

Chi

NL

1984

           

1

Dan

Quisenberry

KC

AL

1985

2

Bob

James

Chi

AL

1985

3

Dave

Righetti

NY

AL

1985

4

Donnie

Moore

Angels

AL

1985

5

John

Franco

Cin

NL

1985

6

Lee

Smith

Chi

NL

1985

7

Jay

Howell

Oak

AL

1985

8

Willie

Hernandez

Det

AL

1985

9

Dave

Smith

Hou

NL

1985

10

Tim

Burke

Mon

NL

1985

 

1

Mark

Eichhorn

Tor

AL

1986

2

Dave

Righetti

NY

AL

1986

3

Todd

Worrell

StL

NL

1986

4

Roger

McDowell

NY

NL

1986

5

Greg A.

Harris

Tex

AL

1986

6

Lee

Smith

Chi

NL

1986

7

Ron

Robinson

Cin

NL

1986

8

Tom

Henke

Tor

AL

1986

9

Charlie

Kerfeld

Hou

NL

1986

10

Jesse

Orosco

NY

NL

1986

           

1

Tim

Burke

Mon

NL

1987

2

Todd

Worrell

StL

NL

1987

3

John

Franco

Cin

NL

1987

4

Steve

Bedrosian

Phil

NL

1987

5

Tom

Henke

Tor

AL

1987

6

Don

Robinson

Pit-SF

NL

1987

7

Andy

McGaffigan

Mon

NL

1987

8

Scott

Garrelts

SF

NL

1987

9

Dave 2

Smith

Hou

NL

1987

10

Mike

Henneman

Det

AL

1987

           

1

John

Franco

Cin

NL

1988

2

Dennis

Eckersley

Oak

AL

1988

3

Mike

Henneman

Det

AL

1988

4

Randy

Myers

NY

NL

1988

5

Mark

Davis

SD

NL

1988

6

Jeff

Reardon

Min

AL

1988

7

Doug

Jones

Cle

AL

1988

8

Jeff D.

Robinson

Pitt

NL

1988

9

Jeff

Parrett

Mon

NL

1988

10

Juan

Agosto

Hou

NL

1988

           

1

Mark

Davis

SD

NL

1989

2

Tom

Henke

Tor

AL

1989

3

Jeff

Russell

Tex

AL

1989

4

Gregg

Olson

Bal

AL

1989

5

Jeff

Montgomery

KC

AL

1989

6

Dennis

Eckersley

Oak

AL

1989

7

Tim

Burke

Mon

NL

1989

8

Jay

Howell

LA

NL

1989

9

Danny

Darwin

Hou

NL

1989

10

Randy

Myers

NY

NL

1989

 

1

Dennis

Eckersley

Oak

AL

1990

2

Bobby

Thigpen

Chi

AL

1990

3

Doug

Jones

Cle

AL

1990

4

Gregg

Olson

Bal

AL

1990

5

Lee

Smith

Bos-StL

AL

1990

6

Rob

Dibble

Cin

NL

1990

7

Randy

Myers

Cin

NL

1990

8

Steve

Farr

KC

AL

1990

9

Tom

Henke

Tor

AL

1990

10

Jeff

Montgomery

KC

AL

1990

           

1

Mitch

Williams

Phil

NL

1991

2

Lee

Smith

StL

NL

1991

3

Bryan

Harvey

Angels

AL

1991

4

Dennis

Eckersley

Oak

AL

1991

5

Rick

Aguilera

Min

AL

1991

6

Mike

Henneman

Det

AL

1991

7

Duane

Ward

Tor

AL

1991

8

Alejandro

Pena

NY-Atl

NL

1991

9

Jeff

Montgomery

KC

AL

1991

10

Steve

Farr

NY

AL

1991

           

1

Dennis

Eckersley

Oak

AL

1992

2

Doug

Jones

Hou

NL

1992

3

Steve

Olin

Cle

AL

1992

4

Mel

Rojas

Mon

NL

1992

5

Jeff

Russell

TX-Oak

AL

1992

6

Xavier

Hernandez

Hou

NL

1992

7

John

Wetteland

Mon

NL

1992

8

Jeff

Montgomery

KC

AL

1992

9

Duane

Ward

Tor

AL

1992

10

Rod

Beck

SF

NL

1992

           

1

John

Wetteland

Mon

NL

1993

2

Rod

Beck

SF

NL

1993

3

Jeff

Montgomery

KC

AL

1993

4

Duane

Ward

Tor

AL

1993

5

Bryan

Harvey

Fla

NL

1993

6

Roberto

Hernandez

Chi

AL

1993

7

Randy

Myers

Chi

NL

1993

8

Tom

Henke

Tex

AL

1993

9

Rick

Aguilera

Min

AL

1993

10

Greg

McMichael

Atl

NL

1993

 

1

Doug

Jones

Phil

NL

1994

2

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

1994

3

John

Wetteland

Mon

NL

1994

4

Jeff

Brantley

Cin

NL

1994

5

Rod

Beck

SF

NL

1994

6

Steve

Howe

NY

AL

1994

7

Eric

Plunk

Cle

AL

1994

8

Bobby

Ayala

Sea

AL

1994

9

Mel

Rojas

Mon

NL

1994

10

Todd

Jones

Hou

NL

1994

           

1

Jose

Mesa

Cle

AL

1995

2

Todd

Worrell

LA

NL

1995

3

Mark

Wohlers

Atl

NL

1995

4

Tom

Henke

StL

NL

1995

5

Rick

Aguilera

Min-Bos

AL

1995

6

Jeff

Brantley

Cin

NL

1995

7

John

Franco

NY

NL

1995

8

Heathcliff

Slocumb

Phil

NL

1995

9

Stan

Belinda

Bos

AL

1995

10

Todd

Jones

Hou

NL

1995

           

1

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

1996

2

Robb

Nen

Fla

NL

1996

3

Roberto

Hernandez

Chi

AL

1996

4

Jeff

Brantley

Cin

NL

1996

5

Mel

Rojas

Mon

NL

1996

6

Troy

Percival

Angels

AL

1996

7

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

1996

8

John

Wetteland

NY

AL

1996

9

John

Franco

NY

NL

1996

10

Mark

Wohlers

Atl

NL

1996

           

1

Roberto

Hernandez

Chi-SF

AL

1997

2

Jeff

Shaw

Cin

NL

1997

3

Doug

Jones

Mil

AL

1997

3

John

Wetteland

Tex

AL

1997

4

Robb

Nen

Fla

NL

1997

4

John

Franco

NY

NL

1997

5

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

1997

5

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

1997

9

Randy

Myers

Bal

AL

1997

10

Rod

Beck

SF

NL

1997

 

1

Robb

Nen

SF

NL

1998

2

Michael

Jackson

Cle

AL

1998

6

Ugueth

Urbina

Mon

NL

1998

6

Kerry

Ligtenberg

Atl

NL

1998

7

John

Wetteland

Tex

AL

1998

7

Tom

Gordon

Bos

AL

1998

8

Jeff

Shaw

Cin-LA

NL

1998

8

Rod

Beck

Chi

NL

1998

9

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

1998

10

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

1998

           

1

Billy

Wagner

Hou

NL

1999

2

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

1999

3

Scott

Williamson

Cin

NL

1999

4

John

Rocker

Atl

NL

1999

5

Armando

Benitez

NY

NL

1999

6

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

1999

7

Danny

Graves

Cin

NL

1999

8

Roberto

Hernandez

TB

AL

1999

9

Derek

Lowe

Bos

AL

1999

10

Matt

Mantei

Fla-Az

NL

1999

           

1

Robb

Nen

SF

NL

2000

2

Derek

Lowe

Bos

AL

2000

3

Billy

Koch

Tor

AL

2000

4

Danny

Graves

Cin

NL

2000

5

Armando

Benitez

NY

NL

2000

6

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

2000

7

Keith

Foulke

Chi

AL

2000

8

Gabe

White

Cin-Col

NL

2000

9

Curtis

Leskanic

Mil

NL

2000

10

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

2000

           

1

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

2001

2

Bob

Wickman

Cle

AL

2001

3

Keith

Foulke

Chi

AL

2001

4

Robb

Nen

SF

NL

2001

5

Jose

Mesa

Phil

NL

2001

6

Troy

Percival

Angels

AL

2001

7

Jeff

Zimmerman

Tex

AL

2001

8

Jason

Isringhausen

Oak

AL

2001

9

Armando

Benitez

NY

NL

2001

10

Billy

Wagner

Hou

NL

2001

 

1

Eric

Gagne

LA

NL

2002

2

Byung-Hyun

Kim

Ariz

NL

2002

3

Robb

Nen

SF

NL

2002

4

Billy

Koch

Oak

AL

2002

5

Troy

Percival

Angels

AL

2002

6

Billy

Wagner

Hou

NL

2002

7

John

Smoltz

Atl

NL

2002

8

Danny

Graves

Cin

NL

2002

9

Jose

Mesa

Phil

NL

2002

10

Armando

Benitez

NY

NL

2002

           

1

Eric

Gagne

LA

NL

2003

2

Keith

Foulke

Oak

AL

2003

3

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

2003

4

Billy

Wagner

Hou

NL

2003

5

John

Smoltz

Atl

NL

2003

6

Eddie

Guardado

Min

AL

2003

7

Joe

Borowski

Chi

NL

2003

8

Rheal

Cormier

Phil

NL

2003

9

Tim

Worrell

SF

NL

2003

10

Ugueth

Urbina

Fla-Tex

NL

2003

           

1

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

2004

2

Armando

Benitez

Fla

NL

2004

3

Eric

Gagne

LA

NL

2004

4

Joe

Nathan

Min

AL

2004

5

Brad

Lidge

Hou

NL

2004

6

Francisco

Cordero

Tex

AL

2004

7

Keith

Foulke

Bos

AL

2004

8

Jason

Isringhausen

StL

NL

2004

9

John

Smoltz

Atl

NL

2004

10

Trevor

Hoffman

SD

NL

2004

           

1

Mariano

Rivera

NY

AL

2005

2

Derrick

Turnbow

Mil

NL

2005

3