Just a month ago, Mariano Rivera was making headlines by becoming only the second player to notch 500 career saves. After saving his league best 30th game on Sunday, Rivera again inched closer to immortality by hitting the mark for the seventh consecutive season
It makes sense that all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman saved 30 or more in eight straight seasons (1995-2002), but how does Rivera's streak compare to the closers in the Hall of Fame?
Of the five relievers in the Hall (Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm), they COMBINED for 16 seasons (Eckersley had 8...Wilhelm zero) with 30 or more saves. Rivera has 12, whereas Hoffman has 13.
To suggest that Hoffman and Rivera would be the next two closers to be end up in Cooperstown would be an understatement.
As a sidenote, the only other reliever to have as many as seven straight seasons with 30 or more saves...Troy Percival.
Yeah, THAT Troy Percival.