Teams: Oakland Athletics, 1968-1976; San Diego Padres, 1977-1980; Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
After bringing Rollie Fingers up from the minors in 1969, the Oakland A's were uncertain what to do with him. For three seasons the A's shuttled him between the bullpen and periodic starting roles. Finally in 1971, after he was able to finish only four of his 35 career starts to date, Oakland manager Dick Williams decided Fingers was best suited for relief work.
Rollie Fingers became known for having the longest mustache in major-league
history. When he retired, he had compiled a then-major-league-record 341 saves.
Fingers responded with a team-leading 17 saves that year and 21 saves in 1972. In 1973, Williams again briefly tried Fingers as a starter before recognizing once and for all that Rollie's proper job was as a fireman. In the 11 remaining years of his career, Fingers never made another starting appearance.
Clean-shaven when he first appeared in the majors, Roland Glen Fingers (born in 1946) soon became known for having the longest mustache in major-league history. His career high point came in the 1974 World Series for the A's. With the A's shooting for their third successive world championship, Fingers won the first game of the Series with a 41/3-inning relief stint and then came through with two saves in the final two games. For his efforts, Fingers earned the Series MVP trophy.
After two more seasons with the A's, Rollie became a free agent at the end of the 1976 campaign. He signed a five-year pact with the Padres worth an estimated $1.5 million. In each of his first two seasons in San Diego, he topped the senior loop in saves. His personal high of 37 saves came in 1978. In 1980, Fingers was swapped to the St. Louis Cardinals and then immediately shipped to the Milwaukee Brewers in the year's biggest deal.
Fingers's finest season came in the strike-abbreviated 1981 campaign. In 47 appearances, he collected a major-league-leading 28 saves and etched a 1.04 earned run average. His banner year garnered him the Most Valuable Player trophy as well as the Cy Young Award but narrowly missed bringing Milwaukee a division crown. When the Brewers broke through the next year to win their first pennant, an ailing elbow forced Fingers to watch their World Series loss to the Cardinals from the sidelines.
Elbow problems shelved Fingers for all of the 1983 season, but he rebounded strongly in 1984 to post 23 saves and a 1.96 ERA. The 1985 campaign proved to be his last, however, when he sagged to a career-worst 1-6 record and 5.04 ERA with 17 saves. At the time of his retirement, he had compiled a then-major-league-record 341 saves. Fingers was voted to the Hall of Fame in 1992.
Here are Rollie Fingers's major league totals:
|W||L ||ERA ||G ||SV ||IP ||H ||ER ||BB ||SO |
|114||118 ||2.90||944 ||341 ||1,701.0||1,474||548||492||1,299|
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