Aug. 16, 2001
The Associated Press Aug. 16, 2001 SAN DIEGO - Former University of Arizona star Trevor Hoffman has a way to go to catch John Franco on the career saves list, but Hoffman has earned the respect of the New York Mets' reliever.
Hoffman just earned his 300th career save and became the 14th player to reach the milestone. He pitched a perfect ninth inning in the San Diego Padres' 2-1 win over the Mets last night.
"He's learned how to pitch the last couple of years and become one of the top relievers," said Franco, second on the career saves list with 422, trailing Lee Smith's 478. "Day in, day out, he's done the job."
Hoffman tied Bruce Sutter for 13th on the career list.
"To be able to put my name up there with guys who paved the way for my role, it's an honor to be included," Hoffman said.
Hoffman, a shortstop at UA before switching to reliever in the pros, is baseball's career leader in save percentage at 88.2 percent, getting his career saves in 339 chances. He tied John Wetteland for the second-quickest to reach the 300 mark, in 553 appearances.
After a standing ovation from the crowd of 20,838, Hoffman struck out Matt Lawton and retired Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile on fly balls to right field. Hoffman was mobbed on the mound by his teammates.