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Old 08-06-2006, 12:02 AM   #234
Killericon
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alberta
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It's Trevor time!



Killericon is happy to see his closer get past the snaretrap that is JCMElway, and picks Trevor Hoffman.



When Hoffman was six weeks old, he had to have one of his kidneys removed because an arterial blockage had formed there. As a kid growing up near Anaheim, he wasn't allowed to play football or wrestle, but he played most other sports. He especially loved baseball because his brother Glenn, who was nine years older, became the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox when Trevor was 12. "I was the perfect age," Trevor says. "I'd hang around the clubhouse, wear his hat, his shoes, even though they were 10 sizes too big."

When he wasn't following Glenn, or his other brother, Greg, a high school basketball coach, he was going with his father, Ed, to Angels games. For 15 years Ed Hoffman was the famous singing usher at Angels games. Before that, he sang with the Royal Guards, a troupe that performed all over the world. "We get our professionalism from him," Trevor says. "But none of us kids can carry a tune. It's pretty sad, because my father [who died in 1994] was great." Trevor's mother, Mikki, is a former ballerina who was born in England. "She says we get our athleticism from her," says Trevor.

Trevor Hoffman proposed to his wife, Tracy, a former Buffalo Bills cheerleader, during Super Bowl XXVII. They have three sons: Brody Burke, Quinn Eddie, and Wyatt Quade.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as a shortstop after leading the University of Arizona team in hitting in 1988 with a .371 batting average, 35 points better than teammate J.T. Snow in 1989, Hoffman was converted to a pitcher in 1991 after batting .212 with 23 RBI in 103 games while playing short and third for Single-A Charleston (then a Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliate). The move, suggested by Charleston manager Jim Lett, was so successful that in his first season on the mound, Hoffman threw a total of 47 2/3 innings at Cedar Rapids and at Double A Chattanooga, and had a 1.89 ERA and 75 strikeouts.

Hoffman proved to have such a live arm that he was taken by the Florida Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft and a year later was involved in the five-player trade that sent slugger Gary Sheffield from the San Diego Padres to Florida during the infamous 1993 fire sale. Hoffman is the only prospect acquired from the fire sale to develop into a legitimate star despite the Padres dumping players the caliber of Sheffield, Fred McGriff, Bruce Hurst, and Craig Lefferts among others.

On May 6, 2005, Hoffman recorded his 400th save against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is only the third person to do so, following John Franco (424 saves) and Lee Smith (478 saves). On August 24, 2005, Hoffman passed Franco for second place on the all-time saves list with 425 after the Padres beat the Houston Astros 7-4. Hoffman was the losing pitcher in the 2006 All-Star Game, despite having two strikes with two outs on eventual MVP Michael Young.

When Trevor Hoffman enters a home game during a save situation, the sound system blares the signature entrance song "Hell's Bells" (by AC/DC) as Hoffman jogs from the bullpen to the mound.

When Hoffman first came into the league he was a fireballer, throwing in the low to mid 90’s with a tight curveball. Hoffman’s repertoire now includes one of the game’s best changeups, a more modest four-seam fastball in the 84-88 MPH range, a slower cut fastball that moves in towards a left handed batter, and he even mixes in a slider and a curveball a handful of times a year for good measure.

However, for all intents and purposes, Hoffman is a two-pitch pitcher, alternating between fastballs and changeups. It is the arm action on the change up and the way that the pitch drops just before it reaches the plate (almost as if someone was pulling on a string attached to the pitch) that has allowed Hoffman to be as successful as he has been over the years.

Trevor Hoffman learned the change up, which he actually throws with a palmball grip instead of a circle changeup grip, in 1995 when he did not have his best fastball because he was pitching most of the year with a torn rotator cuff. Hoffman opted to pitch through the pain and have surgery in the off-season rather than end his season early. He came back the following year to throw in the low 90's, with a tight curveball and that terrific changeup, which reportedly made his fastball look as if was going 110 mph.

As late as 1998, Trevor’s best season, he was throwing his fastball in the in the low 90’s but his velocity has dropped off since then. His velocity has actually improved since he had shoulder surgery that forced him to miss almost all of the 2003 season. Before that procedure, however, Hoffman’s fastball had dipped to the low to mid 80’s. Despite his diminished velocity, however, Hoffman’s strikeout numbers remained very good, striking out more than a batter per inning every season up to 2003 and striking out nearly that many in 2004 and 2005. In the first half of 2006, his strikeout numbers had fallen off, however.

Highlights

* 5-time All-Star (1998-2000, 2002, 2006)
* Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award (1998)
* Hutch Award (2004)
* TSN Reliever of the Year Award (1998)
* Led league in saves (1998)



Selected MLB statistics (through August 3rd, 2006)

Saves - 465
Strikeouts - 944
ERA - 2.74

Last edited by Killericon; 08-06-2006 at 12:12 AM..
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