Hoffman retires at 43

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Associated Press
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
— Baseball’s all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman has thrown his final changeup, deciding at age 43 to retire and return to the San Diego Padres in a front office job.

The Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Hoffman, confirmed Tuesday that he is done after recording 601 saves in 18 seasons.

Hoffman played the bulk of his career with San Diego after being acquired as a rookie from the Florida Marlins in 1993 during the Padres’ infamous “Fire Sale” that stripped away most of their high-paid veterans. He left San Diego as a free agent following the 2008 season after contract talks abruptly ended, and pitched with Milwaukee for two seasons.

Hoffman didn’t return messages seeking comment. Hoffman is scheduled to appear at a news conference at Petco Park this morning.

Padres co-owner Jeff Moorad said Hoffman will spend the next year familiarizing himself with several departments, including baseball operations, and then the two sides will determine what area will be best for him.

“Clearly, Trevor is one of the most significant players that the organization has ever had and we felt it only appropriate for him to return to the Padres family,” Moorad said.

Known for his high leg kick, menacing glare and deceptive changeup, Hoffman became the career saves leader when he notched No. 479 at home on Sept. 24, 2006, breaking the previous mark of 478 by Lee Smith. He had 552 saves with the Padres.

Hoffman was brilliant in his first season in Milwaukee, converting 37 of 41 save opportunities with a 1.83 ERA.

But after signing a new contract to stay in Milwaukee, last season became a struggle. He blew five of his first 10 save opportunities and was passed over by rookie John Axford.

Hoffman eventually returned to a setup role, but only got sporadic save opportunities —including No. 600 on Sept. 7, the most memorable moment of a forgettable season for the Brewers.

Last updated: 4:06 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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