Cooperstown edition of “Trevor Time” is the ultimate honor for Padres icon Hoffman

Posted: 01/24/2018 in baseball
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There haven’t been a ton of good San Diego baseball moments this decade but there certainly was one on Wednesday when “Trevor Time” again arrived.

Trevor Hoffman, one of the most-popular Padres ever, was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The late Tony Gwynn will always be the most famous member of the Padres — heck, Tony is one of the most beloved people in all of San Diego County no matter what the line of duty — but Hoffman would likely rate as second in the baseball category.

Heck, his ninth-inning introduction is perhaps the most-famous entrance in baseball history. When the Padres needed their closer to come get the final three outs, the place erupted as the first bell chimed.

And when the opening rift to “Hells Bells” by AC/DC began, the ballpark was in a complete frenzy.

And most of the time, an opposing player would soon be wildly flailing at a Hoffman changeup as the Padres posted a victory.

“Petco and Qualcomm certainly got rolling with the Hells Bells,” Hoffman told MLB Network in an post-induction interview. “That was in the same time frame as ‘Wild Thing’ in ‘Major League II’ and the whole ambiance they wanted to create was something we were able to do in San Diego.”

Hoffman ranks second in major league history with 601 saves, trailing only Yankees’ great Mariano Rivera (652). A seven-time All-Star, Hoffman should have been winner of the 1998 National League Cy Young Award but six buffoons left him off their ballots because they didn’t believe relievers should win the award.

Hoffman received more first-place votes than winner Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves but the omissions cost him the honor in a season in which he posted a 1.48 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and recorded 53 saves in 54 opportunities.

Kind of a major problem in baseball — letting sportswriters vote for awards. Too many agendas, too much nonsense, and not enough intelligence and perspective.

Hoffman fell five votes shy of induction last year but this time received 79.9 percent of the vote. A player needs 75 percent to be inducted.

An often-forgotten aspect of Hoffman’s career is that he failed as a minor league infielder with the Cincinnati Reds, who turned him into a pitcher. He came to the Padres from the Marlins in the controversial trade involving Gary Sheffield and soon carved out a legacy with that changeup that baffled hitters.

The other thing about Hoffman is that all kinds of San Diegans tell great tales about meeting him.

Like seeing him at Children’s Hospitals giving back to the community. Like being spotted on the freeway and giving a cheerful wave. Like seeing him at an eatery or perhaps a country bar and Hoffman coming across as a normal person.

Right there pretty much describes Trevor Hoffman — no egomaniac symptoms despite being one of the best ever at his craft.

No question, the latest edition of “Trevor Time” is richly deserved.


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