Tuesday, December 9, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #164 TOM HENKE

WOULD YOU DIG IN AGAINST THIS GUY?



TERMINATED A LOT OF LATE-INNING RALLIES.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Tom Henke earned the NL Rolaids Relief Award for the first time in 1995 with 36 saves and seemed poised for many more. And then following the season, with 311 career saves, he up and retired after 14 years at age 37. He had had enough and certainly most of the batters he faced had had enough of the closer known as "The Terminator.'' He averaged 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings, 33 saves a season and was a two-time All-Star. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • The Blue Jays took a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the 11th of Game 4 of the ALCS against the Athletics on Oct. 11, 1992. Henke came in to close the door, allowing a hit, as Toronto took a 3-1 series lead. The Jays advanced to their first World Series after winning Game 6. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Henke saved an AL-leading 34 games in '87, striking out 128 batters in only 94 innings (12.3 per 9) and walking 25. He finished with a 2.49 ERA but also an 0-6 record.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Drafted twice before finally signing in '80 with the Rangers, who took him in the fourth round.
  2. After getting minimal work in his first three seasons and battling control problems with Texas from '82-'84, Henke went to the Blue Jays as a free-agent compensation pick.
  3. Matured into a front-line reliever in '85 (13 saves) and '86 (27).
  4. Had a chance to close out the Braves in the ninth inning of Game 6 in the '92 World Series. Protecting a 2-1 lead, he allowed #181 Otis Nixon's run-scoring two-out single. The Jays went on to win their first World Series in the 11th inning.
  5. Left the Blue Jays as a free agent after the World Series and returned to the Rangers, for whom he saved a career-high 40 games in '93 and finished his career with the Cardinals in '95.

1 comment:

  1. Any utterance of Henke always brings to mind his amazing uncle-specs. I never really looked at his stats before. His '87 stats are crazy impressive.

    Love these posts, by the way. Going to be bummed when the set is complete.

    ReplyDelete