Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unknown Heroes Pt. 22: Jeff Reardon

As I believe I have mentioned before, I have always been a fan of closers for some reason. I also mentioned that I am a big fan of the 1991 team, as the first team that I really watched. So it's not such a surprise that Jeff Reardon is a player that I have a lot of reverence for.

Reardon was not really a dominating closer by the time he arrived in Boston, but he was nonetheless impressive. Reardon was originally brought in at a time when Boston already had Lee Smith, but his arrival meant that Smith was trade bait, which was in hindsight probably a mistake. Reardon saved 21 games in his first Boston season with a 1.130 WHIP. It was not a great season, but he did have an excellent 1991, saving 40 games, a then-team record. He also appeared in the All Star Game that year, the first Red Sox closer to do so since Bob Stanley.

Reardon pitched into the 1992 season for the Red Sox and was typically effective. He had his career highlight that year, breaking the all time saves record with his 342nd save late in the year. That proved to be the reason the last place Red Sox were holding on to him and he was traded before the waiver wire deadline to the Atlanta Braves for Nate Minchey, who would eventually make a few starts for the Red Sox, and Sean Ross, who never made it to the Majors.

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