A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 74 Dennis Eckersley (Number 2 Relief Pitcher)

It is weird that the top two relief pitchers on my list are famous for giving up memorable comeback rallies in the World Series. Eckersley had the Gibson homerun and Rivera had the Arizona comeback in the 9th inning of game 7 of the 2001 World Series. This was the series for 9th inning 2 run rallies to tie or win the game. Of course, they both more often got the job done, but those run together as they are kind of boring. First batter out, second batter out and third batter out.

However, per my ratings Dennis wouldn’t come up as the second-best reliever. However, I am counting his time as a starter. Eckersley was also a solid starter at the beginning of his career. He had some great years pitching as a starter at the beginning of his career. However, after the first five years he became a mediocre starter with some good seasons but not a lot of innings. So, he suffered from some various injuries. Eckersley was a starter for 12 years and had a career as a relief pitcher for 12 years.

After his years as a starter, he was one of the most dominate relievers in history those 12 years. One season his ERA was 0.61. He allowed less than 1 earned run per 9 innings. Bill James had him as the 10th greatest relief pitcher of all time and that was just for his relief work. He is the only relief pitcher who had over 600 points without the relief bonus I gave relief pitchers. Having 600 points is important because I feel anyone with 600 points (403 players) should get hall of fame consideration, especially if they play a defensive position. That means they are in the top 2 percent of all players who played major league baseball. My top 1,000 are in the top 5 percent, so everyone on this list had a pretty good major league career. However, some of the close to 20,000 players had limited exposure to the major leagues. A lot only played one game. However, there are some good players who didn’t make my top 1,000.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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