Rollie and the “Goose”
Richard “GOOSE” Gossage was an intimidating presence with his high 90’s tailing heater and his signature Fu Manchu facial hair. Goose along with Rollie Fingers popularized the closer position.
Before overworked starters would labor late into games when they clearly had nothing left. Now the common perception of a closer is one that goes out for the final inning and gets 3 outs and collects the big check. But when Rollie and the Goose rollicked in bullpens they appeared much earlier in games. Sometimes in the 6th or 7th inning even. Since most closers are converted starters anyway someone had the brilliant idea to let them come in and get 6 plus outs. Not only is Goose one of all-time favorites players but he is a Hall of Famer and so is Rollie. They just don’t make’em like that anymore. The theory nowadays is that you save your best relief pitcher to start the final ending, because that’s just the way it is. Why on earth would a skipper use their best arm to get out of jam in the 7th or 8th. Goose and Rollie were simply a different breed who could certainly make it rain today!
Gossage Broke in with the Chicago White Sox and along he is one 23 player to record 300 plus career saves. Goose who started 37 career games finished 1,809.1 total innings pitched. He was basically a reliever though for 21 of his 22 seasons in the majors. Including starting and relief appearances he pitched in 1,002 career games. Compare to all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera who made 10 career starts as rookie and he has been in the bullpen ever since then. He has pitched in 1,051 career games logging 1,219.2 innings. Gossage saved 310 games. Meanwhile Rivera who is still active has recorded 608. Fingers coincidently also made 37 career starts. Rollie tossed 1,701.1 career innings in 977 games throughout his career and record a 341 career saves.
Categories: FOR THE FUN OF IT!