Know your Minnesota Twins closers

The folks at Baseball-Reference.com describe a save as follows: 

A save (abbreviated SV or S) is a statistic awarded to a relief pitcher, often called a closer, who enters the game under certain conditions and maintains his team’s lead until the end of the game. The save rule was first adopted for the 1969 season and amended for the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Baseball researchers have worked through the official statistics retroactively to calculate saves for all major league seasons prior to 1969.

The first save credited to a Minnesota Twins pitcher occurred on April 16, 1961 long before the save rule was actually in existence in 1969.

The Twins were leading the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 at Memorial Stadium on April 16, 1961 in game one of a twin-bill in the seventh inning with two out when Twins starter Pedro Ramos gave up back to back doubles making the score 9-4. Twins skipper Cookie Lavagetto brought in reliever Ray Moore who quickly ended the rally and Moore went on to finish the game pitching the final 2.1 innings. “Farmer” Moore was back on his vegetable farm long since retired when he was credited with earning the Minnesota Twins first save that day after the save rule had come into existence just in time for the 1969 season. For games played before 1969, saves have been figured retroactively using the 1969 definition of a save.

Bill Singer

Bill Singer, who would go on to pitch for the Minnesota Twins in 1976, is credited with recording the first official save when he pitched three shutout innings in relief of Don Drysdale in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3–2 Opening Day victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field on April 7, 1969.

The first Minnesota Twins save credited after the save rule became official in 1969 was earned by Bob Miller when he retired the final Angels batter to preserve the Twins 5-4 win over California at Anaheim Stadium on April 13, 1969.

 

Twins save leaders from 1961-2016 (50 or more saves)

Joe Nathan

Rk Player SV From To Age G GS CG  IP SO ERA
1 Joe Nathan 260 2004 2011 29-36 460 0 0 463.1 561 2.16
2 Rick Aguilera 254 1989 1999 27-37 490 30 5 694.0 586 3.50
3 Glen Perkins 120 2006 2016 23-33 401 44 0 618.2 502 3.83
4 Eddie Guardado 116 1993 2008 22-37 648 25 0 704.2 610 4.53
5 Ron Davis 108 1982 1986 26-30 286 0 0 381.1 349 4.51
6 Jeff Reardon 104 1987 1989 31-33 191 0 0 226.1 185 3.70
7 Al Worthington 88 1964 1969 35-40 327 0 0 473.1 399 2.62
8 Ron Perranoski 76 1968 1971 32-35 244 0 0 360.1 203 3.00
9 Mike Marshall 54 1978 1980 35-37 162 1 0 274.0 150 2.99
10 Bill Campbell 51 1973 1976 24-27 216 9 2 460.2 322 3.13
 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/22/2016.

Baseball’s all-time saves leader is New York Yankee Mariano Rivera who earned 652 saves from 1995-2013, all wearing the Yankee pin-stripes. He was without a doubt the best closer I ever saw.

Twins closer trivia

First Twins closer to 10 or more saves in a season – Ray Moore in 1961

First Twins closer to 20 or more saves in a season – Bill Dailey in 1963

First Twins closer to 30 or more saves in a season – Ron Perranoski in 1969

First Twins closer to 40 or more saves in a season – Jeff Reardon in 1988

First Twins closer to 45 or more saves in a season – Eddie Guardado in 2002

Most saves in a season – 47, Joe Nathan in 2009

American League leaders in saves as Twins – Al Worthington with 18 in 1968, Ron Perranoski with 31 in 1969 and 34 in 1970, Mike Marshall with 32 in 1979, and Eddie Guardado with 45 in 2002.

Here is a question for you, who will lead the Twins team in saves in 2017? Will Glen Perkins come back and regain his closing form? Will Brandon Kintzler be the Twins top closer? Will Trevor May be the new closer? Or is the 2017 Twins closer not yet on the Twins 40 man roster?

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