The following is a list of Major League Baseball saves champions, with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of Major League Baseball.
In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever") earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official statistic by Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date.
MLB recognizes the player or players in each league[a] with the most saves each season. In retrospect, the five saves by Jack Manning meant he led the National League in its inaugural year, while Bill Hoffer was the American League's first saves champion with three. Mordecai Brown was the first pitcher to record at least 10 saves in a season. Dan Quisenberry, Bruce Sutter, Firpo Marberry, and Ed Walsh are the only pitchers to lead the league in saves five times (though Marberry and Walsh did so before 1969). Sutter is also tied with Harry Wright, Dan Quisenberry and Craig Kimbrel for the most consecutive seasons leading the league in saves with four.
- Inline citations
- ^ Horneman, Tim (March 23, 2010). "Baseball Save Rules". livestrong.com. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- ^ Weber, Bruce (July 22, 2008). "Jerome Holtzman, 82, 'Dean' of Sportswriters, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- ^ Bloom, Barry (July 21, 2008). "Legendary historian Holtzman passes". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- ^ "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Saves". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- ^ "Complete Baseball Team and Baseball Team Encyclopedias". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 13, 2013.