Trevor William Hoffman (born October 13, 1967) is an American former baseball relief pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1993 to 2010. A long-time closer, Hoffman pitched for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers, including more than 15 years for the Padres. He was the major leagues' first player to reach the 500- and 600-save milestones, and was the all-time saves leader from 2006 until 2011. He currently serves as senior advisor for baseball operations for the Padres.
Hoffman played shortstop collegiately at the University of Arizona and was drafted in the 11th round by the Cincinnati Reds. After not having much success batting, Hoffman was converted to a pitcher, as he was able to throw up to 95 miles per hour (mph). The Marlins acquired him in the 1992 expansion draft, and he pitched in Florida until he was traded to the Padres mid-season in 1993 in a deal that sent star Gary Sheffield to the Marlins. Hoffman recorded 20 saves in 1994 in his first season as Padres closer, and in the following years, he became the face of the franchise after Tony Gwynn retired. He collected at least 30 saves each year for the next 14 years, except for 2003 when he missed most of the year recovering from shoulder surgery. After San Diego did not re-sign him following the 2008 season, Hoffman pitched for two years with the Brewers before retiring after the 2010 season.
Hoffman was selected for the All-Star team seven times, and twice he was the runner-up for the National League (NL) Cy Young Award. He retired with MLB records of fifteen 20-save seasons, fourteen 30-save seasons (including eight consecutive), and nine 40-save seasons (including two streaks of four consecutive). He also retired with the highest career strikeout rate of any reliever. Though he entered the majors with a powerful fastball, an injury after the 1994 season permanently sapped Hoffman's fastball velocity and forced him to reinvent his pitching style; he subsequently developed one of the best changeups in baseball. Hoffman's entrance at home games accompanied by the song "Hells Bells" was popular with fans. He becomes eligible for consideration for Baseball Hall of Fame induction starting in 2016.
After retiring as a player, Hoffman returned to the Padres as a special assistant in the front office. In 2014, he became the team's pitching coordinator at their upper minor league levels, which included working with the Padres general manager. The following year, his role expanded to overseeing pitching instruction at all levels in the minors.
By Dean Hanley
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