Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
The evolution of the cheap save record (CORRECTED)
2007-08-24 20:35
by Bob Timmermann

The save became an official stat in 1969.

The first save was recorded by Dodgers pitcher Bill Singer on April 7, 1969, in an opening day win at Cincinnati. The Dodgers won 3-2. Singer pitched the last three innings in relief of Don Drysdale.

The next day Chuck Hartenstein of the Cubs got a save in San Francisco in a 6-2 win by Chicago in 14 innings at Candlestick Park. So quickly the record for biggest winning in a save went from +1 to +4. (The save rule was a bit different in 1969.)

On April 12, Wayne Granger of the Reds moved the mark to +9 in a 12-3 Cincinnati win over the Braves.

Eight days later on April 20 in the second game of a doubleheader, Bob Locker of the White Sox got a save in a 13-3 game against Seattle. So the record was now +10.

Locker's place in history lasted all of two days. Clay Carroll of the Reds got a save on April 22, 1969 in a 14-0 Cincinnati win at Houston. Carroll's save in a +14 game would hold up as the mark to beat for the rest of 1969.

Carroll's mark was not tied until July 7, 1971 when Astros reliever Jim Ray got a save in an 18-4 win over the Giants at Candlestick Park. Paul Linblad of Texas became the first AL pitcher to get +14 save on May 27, 1972 at Minnesota.

The next +14 save would come on May 1, 1975 as Jim Colborn of Milwaukee got the save for Pete Broberg in a 17-3 win at Detroit. The Tigers were the next victim of a +14 save when Dennis Leonard of Kansas City got one on April 9, 1977 when the Royals won at Tiger Stadium 16-2.

The +14 barrier was finally shattered, in an event as momentous as Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, when Ramon Hernandez of the Cubs got a save in a 23-6 win over the Padres at Wrigley Field on May 17, 1977. The record was now +17.

Hernandez's mark would not be match for nearly nine years. Mickey Mahler of Texas got a save in a 19-2 win by the Rangers over the Indians at Cleveland on May 12, 1986.

Stan Belinda upped the ante on September 4, 1999 while pitching for the Reds. He pitched the last three innings of Cincinnati's 22-3 win at Philadelphia. Actually, Ed Vosberg had a +19 save first on April 19, 1996 pitching for Texas against Baltimore in a 26-7 game.

And that brings us to yesterday, August 22, 2007 in the first game of a doubleheader when Wes Littleton of the Rangers did a Bob Beamon on the record, with his +27 run save in the Rangers already mythic 30-3 win over the Orioles.

So to sum up, the record went from:

+1 - Bill Singer

+4 - Chuck Hartenstein

+9 - Wayne Granger

+10 - Bob Locker

+14 - Clay Carroll, Jim Ray, Paul Linblad, Jim Colborn, Dennis Leonard

+17 - Ramon Hernandez, Mickey Mahler

+19 - Ed Vosberg, Stan Belinda

+27 - Wes Littleton

The record has been held or shared by three Reds pitchers and three four Rangers pitchers.



2007-08-23 17:04:08
1.   Ken Arneson
Records are made to be broken, but they are usually broken incrementally. Littleton's Bob-Beamonesque utter demolition of the previous record ought to be raising all sorts of red flags. Is it wrong to suspect that there must have been some sort of extracurricular performance enhancement involved. Unlike Beamon, we can't blame it on the high altitude. I suspect gremlins.
2007-08-23 18:34:20
2.   grandcosmo
You're doing God's work Bob. Keep it up.
2007-08-23 18:43:52
3.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think this list will need updating for a while.
2007-08-23 19:18:14
4.   bobsbrother
Is the cheapness measured at the point of entry or the point of conclusion? Should a reliever be punished if he entered a tight game for a multi-inning save and his team scores a lot of runs while he's in the game?
2007-08-23 19:18:58
5.   Bob Timmermann
It's measured at the end of the game. Because the first way would involve way too much work.
2007-08-23 19:28:25
6.   Bob Timmermann
Ramon Hernandez came in with a 20-run lead and gave up 4 runs and then the Cubs scored another run to make the final margin +17.
2007-08-23 20:45:14
7.   snydes
when they talk of unbreakable records, wes littleton's 27 run save should be listed up there with joe dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak, nolan ryan's 7 no-hitters and oscar gamble's monster fro.

stand tall, wes.

2007-08-24 23:48:18
8.   Xeifrank
6 NL teams within 1.5 games. This fight for the worst record in the NL is truly exciting. Wonder what the tie-breaker is, and when they will have any coin tosses.
vr, Xei

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.