Trevor Hoffman was voted in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame today, where he will join Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn as the only players to go into “baseball’s heaven” wearing San Diego Padres’ colors.
Although it took longer than most Padres’ fans would’ve liked, there’s no question that today is a big day for the Padres’ organization and for the city of San Diego.
Many words have been written about why Trevor Hoffman deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, so in this piece I will try to put into words what “Trevor Time” meant to me as a fan of the team.
I first started noticing that the Padres had a dominant closer when Trevor went on that historic ride, during the magical 1998 season. In a stretch during that year, Hoffman converted on 41 straight save opportunities for the Friars.
Obviously 1998 was the best season in the history of the franchise, and during that year, Hoffman became a fan favorite.
One of the many reasons fans around the world became familiar with Trevor Hoffman was because he was one of the first closers to have his own entrance. Every time Hoffman came into the game in a save situation, the song “Hell’s Bells” from AC/DC started playing loudly throughout the stadium.
That song became an anthem for Padres fans in the ninth inning. It created an image for the team and for it’s closer. Opposing team’s players continue to say, to this day, that hearing that song and witnessing that entrance firsthand was one of the best things they’ve seen in their careers.
The first time I experienced “Trevor Time” in person was during game three of the 1998 NLDS against the Houston Astros.
I remember being 10 years old and hearing a loud bell ringing through the “Q” and Trevor Hoffman running towards the mound. That was the first time I really felt like a fan. 60,000 thousand people going crazy because they knew that whenever Trevor came into the game, that game was officially over.
And that is exactly what Trevor gave this town for so many years. Stability. The sense that he was the guy that had everything under control.
So, today is really a celebration of a career and a life of a man who became so much more than any scout could ever predicted. Trevor Hoffman is a MLB Hall of Fame player because he was consistent and brought his team a sense of security that is invaluable.
I sure feel lucky to have enjoyed the career of a great pitcher that reinvented himself, but I feel more lucky to have been part of the community in which he set an example for. He showed us how to be a great player, and an even better person. Today, the baseball world rejoices as one of the game’s greatest closers can finally call Cooperstown home.