NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s only fitting.
Major League Baseball has honored the top closers in baseball for years, but soon will rename its awards after arguably the two best relievers to ever pick up a ball.
According to WFAN/CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman, the league will soon announce that it will honor the best of the best in the National League and American League each season with awards named after Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera, respectively.
From 2005-13, MLB gave out The Delivery Man of the Year award to honor top relievers, but the recent retirements of Hoffman and Rivera provided inspiration for two new honors that carry the potential to draw attention anew to an increasingly important role, Heyman reported.
The Delivery Man award, which failed to gain traction, was elected by league officials. There was also a Rolaids Relief Man award, sponsored by the maker of the antacid tablet, given from 1976 to 2012 that was statistically based.
The new awards will be voted on by a small panel of all-time great relievers, including Rivera and Hoffman themselves, Heyman reported.
The future Hall of Famers combined for 1,253 saves, with Rivera finishing as the all-time leader in the AL with 652, and Hoffman at the top of the list in the NL with 601.
Rivera pitched 19 seasons in the majors, all with the New York Yankees. Hoffman spent all but two of his 18 seasons with the Padres. He started his career with the Florida Marlins back in 1993, but was part of a trade that sent him to San Diego in exchange for Gary Sheffield. He concluded his playing days with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2009-10.
Overall, Rivera went 82-60 with a 2.21 ERA. Hoffman finished 61-75 with a 2.87 ERA.
Rivera is widely believed to be the best relief pitcher to ever play, in part based on his incredible postseason resume,which consisted of 42 saves, a 0.70 ERA and 0.76 WHIP.
Hoffman excelled with much less fanfare, with nine seasons of 40 or more saves and five with a WHIP below 1.00.
Rivera was a five-time winner of the Rolaids award and three-time recipient of annual Delivery Man honors. Hoffman took home the Rolaids trophy twice.
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