Padres’ Morning Joe with Editor Billy Brost-Hells Bells


You know, for a shortstop that couldn’t hit a lick, the San Diego Padres got a pretty good deal when they made their deal for future closer Trevor Hoffman from the Florida Marlins back in 1993. Do you remember who the Friars dealt for their future Hall of Famer? I’ll let you think about for one second. He was my favorite Padre, albeit a short stay, as I emulated his famous bat waggle. That’s right, if you haven’t figured it out by now, the Padres got Trevor Hoffman for Gary Sheffield.

The dealing of Sheff was part of the early 1990s firesale that took place, and left only the late Tony Gwynn as the legitimate big league talent at that time. The Padres with that trade however, were setting the foundation for a series of teams that would peak in 1998 when they reached the World Series, helped in large part by Hoffman’s league-leading 53 saves, a runner-up finish for the National League Cy Young Award, and a seventh place finish for the National League MVP. Again, not too shabby for a guy that was a converted shortstop, and left unprotected by the Cincinnati Reds for the Marlins to snatch up during the 1992 Expansion Draft.

You may find this hard to believe if you don’t remember the early days of Hoffman as the Padres’ closer, but he used to throw smoke. An arm injury following the 1994 strike-shortened season all but eliminated his blazing fastball, and forced him to focus on his signature pitch: the almighty change-up.

Hoffman carried the mantle of the Padres’ franchise after Gwynn retired. You didn’t read about him smacking his wife or kids around, or getting popped for going triple-digits in a sports car, or using a performance-enhancing substance to get an edge. Some of his teammates did.

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Hoffman simply went out, and got the final three out of the ball game, night in and night out. For that, along with what he’s meant to the City of San Diego, Padres’ fans, and the organization, Trevor Hoffman deserves this honor, not only for being the first guy to 500 and 600 saves, but for TRULY meaning something to baseball in San Diego. Unlike Bud Selig, Mr. Hoffman deserves everything he gets and more, and it won’t be long until we are all celebrating his special trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.

Congratulations Trevor for always Keeping the Faith!