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A Save Twelve Years in the Making
2005-07-19 22:05
by Mike Carminati

Tonight Curt Schilling picked up his first save as the new Red Sox closer as the Red Sox and Yankees flip-flopped positions tonight. Schilling's last save came May 3, 1992, as the Phils beat the Giants at Candlestick, 12-3. He earned the save by virtue of his game-ending four-inning stint in which he allowed just one run. His other save that year came in a ten-inning win at Wrigley (7-5 on April 21) even though he gave up a run in his tenth-inning appearance. The Phils took the young journeyman reliever and stuck him in the rotation 16 days after the May 3 save and the rest is history. Just think, if the Phils weren't desperate enough to give Schilling a shot, we never would have witnessed the Grinch-heart-like exponential growth of his ego.

Scilling went thirteen seasons between saves, which made me wonder how long the longest stretch between saves has ever been. Well, here's the answer:

Steve Carlton196711987120
Mike Flanagan197711991314
Dave Burba199112004213
Dennis Martinez198011993113
Tommy John196531978113
Curt Schilling199222005113
Art Herring193221944112
Socks Seibold191711929112

Schilling's tied for third, though it seems highly unlikely anyone will catch up to Carlton's "record". His two career saves came in his first and last full seasons, and neither of which came with the Phils, with whom he spent the bulk of his career.

Herring and Seibold's appearance on the list was greatly aided by the lack of talent during the World Wars. Both spent plenty of time out of the majors before returning to record their saves (which were awarded posthumously anyway).

2005-07-20 13:07:11
1.   Shaun P
Why bother signing up for ESPN's insider when we have the blogs of the Toaster? Better info AND its free. Nice scoop, Mike.

2005-07-20 14:36:22
2.   JMC
So is Schilling still walking out to the bullpen in the late innings - instead of starting the game out there like everyone else - just so he can get the ovation?

If that doesn't scream big ego, nothing does.

2005-07-20 16:58:55
3.   Mike Carminati

Thanks. What's the link? I refuse to pay the usurial prices for crappy ESPN "insider" content. Hip me to the jive, Jack.


Schilling is about nothing if not ego. He fits in perfectly with the Red Sox.

2005-07-21 08:15:25
4.   Shaun P
You're welcome, Mike. The link is to yesterday's "Elias says" in answer to "Who is the only pitcher with more time between saves than Cliff Clavin . . . uh, Curt Schilling (13 years, 77 days)?" They tell us that Mike Flanagan (who in the graphic is identified as "Jim Flanagan") went 14 years and 23 days between saves - the longest gap since the saves rule was instituted.

Its actually a free link (I won't pay real cash for crap from the likes of Buster Olney and Steve Phillips) and its worth looking it, because of the error and the picture looks like Palmiero. I did a double-take when I first saw it. I remember Flanagan in the smiling bird cap, not the refined oriole of today.

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