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Rich Gossage Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: July 05, 1951 in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Biography | show moreshow less

Full name Richard Michael Gossage
Born July 5, 1951, Colorado Springs, Colorado
First Game: April 16, 1972; Final Game: August 8, 1994
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 3" Weight: 180

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 2008
Named AL Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News (1975 and 1978)
Named AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year (1978)

This article was written by Alfonso L Tusa C. and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Rich “Goose” Gossage was “the type of relief pitcher that has become extinct,” as Murray Chass of the New York Times put it in 2008.[1] Today’s closer typically has the mission of pitching one inning. In 1978, when the fearsome, hard-throwing righty was the mainstay of the bullpen for the World Series champion New York Yankees, he pitched 134 1/3 innings in 63 appearances. By contrast, Mariano Rivera’s 15-year high as Yankees closer has been 80 2/3 innings, in 2001.

“I take exception to Mariano being called the best reliever ever,” Gossage told Chass. “But do what we did and we’ll be able to compare apples to apples. I don’t take anything away from Mariano; he’s great. But what these guys do today is easy compared to what we did. It takes three guys to do what I did.”[2] He did it mainly with pure heat: The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers rated Gossage’s fastball behind only Nolan Ryan’s for the 1975-79 period. His size and aggressive demeanor on the mound further intimidated batters.

The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted the Goose in 2008, making him one of just five relief specialists in Cooperstown as of 2011 (the others are Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley and Bruce Sutter). His accomplishments across 22 major-league seasons include:

* 310 saves. That may seem low by today’s standards – it’s now 19th on the all-time list. But it was fourth all-time when he retired. What’s more, he recorded four or five outs in 68 of those saves, six to eight in 101 of them, and nine or more outs in 24 more.[3]

* A 124-107 record

* 1,502 strikeouts in 1,809 innings.

Film Credits | show moreshow less

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