MLB Names Relief Awards After Little League Legends, Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera
Two of the best closers in the history of Major League Baseball got their starts on the Little League field. On April 9, MLB honored Trevor Hoffman (Northwest Anaheim LL) and Mariano Rivera (Barrio Colon LL) by naming two new awards after them Reliever of the Year in the National League and Reliever of the Year in the American League.
Rivera got his start in the game on the Barrio Colon Little League fields in La Chorrera, Panama. In 1951, the first Little League programs formed outside the United State were chartered in Panama.
Little League recognized Hoffman’s parents, Mikki and the late Eddie Hoffman, with the 2002 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award for their support of their son and his early exposure to baseball at the Northwest Anaheim Little League in California.
Celebrating our 75th Anniversary in 2014, these MLB iconic closers are just two of the people who have helped establish Little League’s Big Legacy.
From the official release on MLB.com:
The American League's top reliever will be given an award named for Mariano Rivera, and the National League winner will receive a trophy named for Trevor Hoffman. Rivera and Hoffman, Nos. 1 and 2 in career saves, spent their entire careers pitching in their respective leagues.
Rivera, a 13-time All-Star, earned all of his 652 saves for the Yankees. Hoffman, who spent most of his career with the Padres but also pitched for the Marlins and Brewers, racked up 601 career saves.
The new honors, beginning this season, will replace MLB's Delivery Man of the Year Award, which was given to one reliever each year, as opposed to one reliever per league.
"Both Mariano and Trevor represented our sport magnificently on and off the mound and earned the universal respect of our fans in their legendary careers," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "I believe it is appropriate to redefine an existing award in honor of their contributions to baseball, and I am delighted that many of the most decorated relievers in history will select the winners."
The award winners will be determined by a vote of other great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman will be joined by Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter, who are the four living relievers in the Hall of Fame, and Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner, all of whom are among the top five in career saves.