1. Trevor Hoffman, 601
2. Mariano Rivera, 600
3. Lee Smith, 478
4. John Franco, 424
5. Billy Wagner, 422
It’s literally two guys, and then everyone else. No one is within 100 of Rivera and Hoffman, and only two other active pitchers — Jason Isringhausen and Francisco Cordero — have as many as 300 saves. It’s not an exaggeration when people say we might never see 600 again.
After last night’s milestone, the Yankees were appreciative of their closer and their moment with history.
Russell Martin: “His focus level is amazing. He never really comes out of his game. He keeps his composure at all times and that’s what amazes me the most about it, how he can stay composed and just make pitch after pitch.”
Joe Girardi: “It’s a gift, a gift that he has. And he has used his gift to the best of his ability, and has given Yankee fans and baseball a lot to cheer about, and to be proud of. And he’s a great guy too on top of that. He’s a humble guy and you’ll never see Mo walk with his chest up.”
Alex Rodriguez: “Just to think about every game Mariano has ever pitched has been a meaningful game, and he’s either been in first place or second place, so the pressure you have to add to that. It’s just like Jeet. You’re doing it at Harvard with the Yankees. Every one of those saves meant something. Every one of them. Some of them were against our teams, whether it was Seattle or Texas, and I knew what an incredible competitor he was and what a weapon he was, even when he didn’t pitch. Pretty amazing… He’s at a point in his career where everything he does is groundbreaking. Every save from here until the end is going to be a new record — his own.”
A.J. Burnett: “I’m always going to be on the winning side of that. We all went out, came out in the ninth to watch it. We wouldn’t miss it, and it’s special. You won’t see it again, I don’t think.”
Derek Jeter: “We’ve been close for a very, very long time. I know how important it is to him to come here and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in doing his job. And he’s done his job better than anyone else… I think that if you ask him, we’re trying to win. We’re trying to win the division, I think that’s probably the first thing on his mind. If the game calls for him to come in, pretty sure he’ll do his job again.”
Mariano Rivera: “It was a great moment for my teammates to be there. They’re my family away from my family. It was great seeing them all come to the mound. I’ve been blessed to have a great bunch of guys as my teammates, supporting me and giving me all the opportunities to be able to pitch.”
Don’t forget, we’re chatting today at noon. Be there!
Associated Press photo