Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #129 JOHN WETTELAND

CONSISTENTLY GOT THE FINAL OUT.



BULLPEN STALWART FOR THREE TEAMS.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • John Wetteland was drafted three times and traded three times from 1984-'95 but was as stable of a closer as you could want for 12 seasons. From '92-'00, the three-time All-Star averaged 37 saves and a 2.70 ERA, never saving fewer than 25 games, for three teams.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Wetteland got the final out in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Braves in Game 6 of the '96 World Series on Oct. 26. He allowed a run in the ninth and the tying run was on second before he got Mark Lemke to pop up to third baseman #60 Charlie Hayes for the final out. It was Wetteland's fourth save of the Series, establishing a record that's since been tied by four closers. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Wetteland led the AL in saves with 43 in '96 with a 2.83 ERA, becoming an All-Star for the first time.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Came up through the Dodgers' organization as a starter, going 8-12 with a 3.84 ERA.
  2. Traded to the Expos as part of the #126 Eric Davis deal in '91, moving into the closer role and saving 37 games.
  3. The Yankees acquired Wetteland in the great Expos purge after the '94 strike and saved 74 games in two seasons before Mariano Rivera took over the ninth inning.
  4. Signed with the Rangers for the '97 season and finished his career by averaging 38 saves over those four years.
  5. His 43 saves in '99 established a Rangers' team record. 

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