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Trevor Hoffman, Hall of Famer

One of the best closers in MLB history and San Diego Padres great, Trevor Hoffman, is a 2018 Hall of Famer.

This was Hoffman’s third time on the ballot, receiving 79.9 percent of the votes. MLB players on the ballot for the Hall of Fame need at least 75 percent of the votes to be elected into the Hall.

The former Padres closer joins Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians, Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves, and Vladimir Guerrero of the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels in the 2018 Hall of Fame class.

Hoffman had a remarkable 18-year career in the MLB, sixteen of those being with the San Diego Padres, and the last two years finishing with the Milwaukee Brewers. He retired after the 2010 season with a career W-L record of 61-75, with a 2.87 ERA.

Hoffman has the second most career saves in MLB history with 601, only trailing New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera with 652. In all-time ranks, he is second in save percentage, eighth with his 2.87 ERA, fourth in ERA+, second in opponents’ batting average, second in WHIP, and first in strikeout rate. He is a seven-time All-Star, and finished in second place twice in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

The road to becoming the Hall of Famer he is now wasn’t easy for the Padres legend.

He was originally drafted in the 11th round by the Cincinnati Reds as a shortstop out of the University of Arizona in 1989. Hoffman struggled in the minors with a .227 batting average and 55 fielding errors in his first two years at shortstop. While he did struggle as a hitter and fielder, he did have the ability to throw up to 95 mph; a position change to pitcher was necessary.

Hoffman made his major league debut in 1993 with the then-Florida Marlins, but was traded mid-season in his first year to the Padres, sending star player Gary Sheffield and two other prospects back to the Marlins.

He recorded 20 saves in his first year with the Padres, and went on to record at least 30 saves in 14 out of the next 15 seasons, with the exception being the 2003 season due to injury.

Hoffman became the instant face of the Padres organization once legend Tony Gwynn retired.

AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” was the song always played as Hoffman ran onto the field, which Padres fans loved. Just as it should be, Hoffman entered his Hall of Fame press conference with “Hells Bells” playing in the background.

Trevor Hoffman is the third player to represent the San Diego Padres in the Hall of Fame, joining Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn.

 

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Dakota Campagna

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