Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that its new Reliever of the Year awards in each league will be named after two of the greatest closers ever: Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.
The Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award and Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award are the first of their kind. The league previously gave out the Delivery Man of the Year Award, which was elected by league officials, to one player over both leagues from 2005 to 2013. They also had the statistically-based Rolaids Relief Man Award from 1976 to 2012.
The new awards will be voted on by a distinguished group of former relief pitchers, including Rivera and Hoffman themselves. The other voters will be Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner.
Rivera and Hoffman are two of the best closers MLB has ever seen. They take the No. 1 and No. 2 spots as all-time leaders in saves — Rivera with 652 and Hoffman with 601. Rivera boasts a 2.21 career ERA and 1.00 WHIP, and Hoffman shares an equally respectable 2.87 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
Both pitchers spent their entire careers in the league for which their awards are named. Rivera wore New York Yankees pinstripes for his whole 20-year career, and Hoffman spent most of his 18 years with the San Diego Padres, but he also played for the Florida Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers.
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