Rolaids Relief Man Award

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Mariano Rivera won the AL Relief Man Award in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2009.

The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers are the pitchers who enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1987 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.[1]

The inaugural award winners were Bill Campbell (AL) and Rawly Eastwick (NL); Campbell also won in the following season. Dan Quisenberry and Mariano Rivera each won the AL award five times, while Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter won the award four times each. Lee Smith won the award on three occasions; Campbell, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Righetti, John Franco, Éric Gagné, Randy Myers, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodríguez, Heath Bell, and José Valverde each won the award twice. Sutter (NL 1979), Fingers (AL 1981), Steve Bedrosian (NL 1987), Mark Davis (NL 1989), Eckersley (AL 1992), and Éric Gagné (NL 2003) won the Relief Man and the Cy Young Award in the same season; Fingers and Eckersley won the AL MVP as well, in 1981 and 1992 respectively.[2][3] Todd Worrell won both the Relief Man and the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the 1986 MLB season.[4] Rivera and Joe Nathan were the only relief pitchers to have tied in points for the award, and both were awarded in 2009. Goose Gossage, Fingers, Eckersley, and Sutter were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[5] Craig Kimbrel (NL) and Jim Johnson (AL) were the final award winners in 2012. Sanofi acquired Rolaids from Johnson & Johnson unit McNeil Consumer Healthcare in 2013, but the award was not continued as a part of its marketing strategy.[6][7]

Winners[edit]

Rollie Fingers won the NL Relief Man Award in 1977, 1978, and 1980, and the AL Relief Man in 1981.
Goose Gossage won the AL Relief Man Award in 1978.
Lee Smith won the NL Relief Man Award in 1991 and 1992 and the AL Relief Man Award in 1994.
Trevor Hoffman won the NL Relief Man Award in 1998 and 2006.
John Smoltz won the NL Relief Man Award in 2002.
Éric Gagné won the NL Relief Man Award in 2003 and 2004.
Francisco Rodriguez won the AL Relief Man Award in 2006 and 2008.
J. J. Putz won the AL Relief Man Award in 2007.
Brad Lidge won the NL Relief Man Award in 2008.
W Wins
L Losses
SV Saves
TS Tough saves
BS Blown saves
ERA Earned run average
WHIP Walks plus hits per inning pitched
Pitcher (#) Denotes winning pitcher and the number of times they had won the award at that point
* Denotes player who is still active
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Denotes multiple winners

National League (1976–2012)[edit]

Year Pitcher Team W–L SV TS BS ERA WHIP
1976 Rawly Eastwick Cincinnati Reds 11–5 26 2.09 1.115
1977 Rollie Fingers (1) San Diego Padres 8–9 35 2.99 1.202
1978 Rollie Fingers (2) San Diego Padres 6–13 37 2.52 1.053
1979 Bruce Sutter (1)[b] Chicago Cubs 6–6 37 2.22 0.977
1980 Rollie Fingers (3) San Diego Padres 11–9 23 2.80 1.291
1981 Bruce Sutter (2) St. Louis Cardinals 3–5 25 2.62 1.069
1982 Bruce Sutter (3) St. Louis Cardinals 9–8 36 2.90 1.192
1983 Al Holland Philadelphia Phillies 8–4 25 2.26 1.015
1984 Bruce Sutter (4) St. Louis Cardinals 5–7 45 1.54 1.076
1985 Jeff Reardon Montreal Expos 2–8 41 3.18 1.072
1986 Todd Worrell[c] St. Louis Cardinals 9–10 36 2.08 1.225
1987 Steve Bedrosian[b] Philadelphia Phillies 5–3 40 2.83 1.202
1988 John Franco (1) Cincinnati Reds 6–6 39 3 1.57 1.012
1989 Mark Davis[b] San Diego Padres 4–3 44 4 1.84 1.047
1990 John Franco (2) New York Mets 5–3 33 6 2.53 1.286
1991 Lee Smith (1) St. Louis Cardinals 6–3 47 6 2.34 1.137
1992 Lee Smith (2) St. Louis Cardinals 4–9 43 8 3.12 1.173
1993 Randy Myers (1) Chicago Cubs 2–4 53 6 3.11 1.208
1994 Rod Beck San Francisco Giants 2–4 28 0 2.77 1.274
1995 Tom Henke St. Louis Cardinals 1–1 36 2 1.82 1.104
1996 Jeff Brantley Cincinnati Reds 1–2 44 5 2.41 1.155
1997 Jeff Shaw Cincinnati Reds 4–2 42 1 2.38 0.961
1998 Trevor Hoffman (1) San Diego Padres 4–2 53 1 1.48 0.936
1999 Billy Wagner Houston Astros 4–1 39 3 1.57 0.777
2000 Antonio Alfonseca Florida Marlins 5–6 45 0 4 4.24 1.514
2001 Armando Benítez New York Mets 6–4 43 3 3 3.77 1.297
2002 John Smoltz Atlanta Braves 3–2 55 5 4 3.25 1.033
2003 Éric Gagné (1)[b] Los Angeles Dodgers 2–3 55 2 0 1.20 0.692
2004 Éric Gagné (2) Los Angeles Dodgers 7–3 45 3 2 2.19 0.911
2005 Chad Cordero Washington Nationals 2–4 47 2 7 1.82 0.969
2006 Trevor Hoffman (2) San Diego Padres 0–2 46 0 5 2.14 0.968
2007 José Valverde* (1) Arizona Diamondbacks 1–4 47 1 7 2.66 1.119
2008 Brad Lidge Philadelphia Phillies 2–0 41 0 0 1.95 1.226
2009 Heath Bell (1) San Diego Padres 6–4 42 3 6 2.71 1.120
2010 Heath Bell (2) San Diego Padres 6–1 47 5 3 1.93 1.200
2011 John Axford* Milwaukee Brewers 2–2 46 0 2 1.95 1.140
2012 Craig Kimbrel* Atlanta Braves 3–1 42 1 3 1.01 0.654

American League (1976–2012)[edit]

Year Pitcher Team W–L SV TS BS ERA WHIP
1976 Bill Campbell (1) Minnesota Twins 17–5 20 3.01 1.235
1977 Bill Campbell (2) Boston Red Sox 13–9 31 2.96 1.229
1978 Goose Gossage New York Yankees 10–11 27 2.01 1.087
1979 Jim Kern Texas Rangers 13–5 29 1.57 1.126
1980 Dan Quisenberry (1) Kansas City Royals 12–7 33 3.09 1.216
1981 Rollie Fingers (4)[a] Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 28 1.04 0.872
1982 Dan Quisenberry (2) Kansas City Royals 9–7 35 2.57 1.010
1983 Dan Quisenberry (3) Kansas City Royals 5–3 45 1.94 0.928
1984 Dan Quisenberry (4) Kansas City Royals 6–3 44 2.65 1.028
1985 Dan Quisenberry (5) Kansas City Royals 8–9 37 2.37 1.225
1986 Dave Righetti (1) New York Yankees 8–8 46 2.45 1.153
1987 Dave Righetti (2) New York Yankees 8–6 31 3.51 1.463
1988 Dennis Eckersley (1) Oakland Athletics 4–2 45 8 2.35 0.867
1989 Jeff Russell Texas Rangers 6–4 38 6 1.98 0.950
1990 Bobby Thigpen Chicago White Sox 4–6 57 8 1.83 1.038
1991 Bryan Harvey California Angels 2–4 46 6 1.60 0.864
1992 Dennis Eckersley (2)[a] Oakland Athletics 7–1 51 3 1.91 0.913
1993 Jeff Montgomery Kansas City Royals 7–5 45 6 2.27 1.008
1994 Lee Smith (3) Baltimore Orioles 1–4 33 6 3.29 1.174
1995 José Mesa Cleveland Indians 3–0 46 2 1.12 1.031
1996 John Wetteland New York Yankees 2–3 43 4 2.83 1.178
1997 Randy Myers (2) Baltimore Orioles 2–3 45 1 1.51 1.156
1998 Tom Gordon Boston Red Sox 7–4 46 1 2.72 1.008
1999 Mariano Rivera (1) New York Yankees 4–3 45 4 1.83 0.884
2000 Todd Jones Detroit Tigers 2–4 42 4 4 3.52 1.438
2001 Mariano Rivera (2) New York Yankees 4–6 50 3 7 2.34 0.905
2002 Billy Koch Oakland Athletics 11–4 44 2 6 3.27 1.270
2003 Keith Foulke Oakland Athletics 9–1 43 4 5 2.08 0.888
2004 Mariano Rivera (3) New York Yankees 4–2 53 2 4 1.94 1.081
2005 Mariano Rivera (4) New York Yankees 7–4 43 5 4 1.38 0.868
2006 Francisco Rodriguez* Los Angeles Angels 2–3 47 3 4 1.73 1.096
2007 J. J. Putz Seattle Mariners 6–1 40 8 2 1.38 0.698
2008 Francisco Rodriguez* (2) Los Angeles Angels 2–3 62 1 7 2.24 1.288
2009 Mariano Rivera (5) New York Yankees 3–3 44 4 2 1.76 0.905
Joe Nathan* Minnesota Twins 2–2 47 1 5 2.10 0.932
2010 Rafael Soriano Tampa Bay Rays 3–2 45 0 3 1.73 0.802
2011 José Valverde* (2) Detroit Tigers 2–4 49 0 0 2.24 1.190
2012 Jim Johnson* Baltimore Orioles 2–1 51 0 3 2.49 1.019

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
  • "Rolaids Relief Man Award Past Winners". McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  • "Relief Man Award winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  • "Rookie of the Year Awards & Rolaids Relief Award Winners". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
Specific
  1. ^ "About The Award". McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Cy Young Award winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  3. ^ "Most Valuable Player winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  4. ^ "Rookie of the Year winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  5. ^ "Hall of Famers". Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Van Riper, Tom (April 10, 2014). "Why Can't Baseball Monetize It's Big Postseason Awards?". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014.
  7. ^ Neyer, Rob (April 9, 2014). "Kissing the Rolaids Relief Award goodbye". FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014.

External links[edit]