In the most previous Classic Yankees, I wrote about Luis Arroyo and Joe Page, two Yankees who at one time held the single season saves record (Page set it in 1949, it was tied in 1953, Arroyo broke it in 1961; Arroyo’s record was tied in 1964, broken in 1965). The saves statistic didn’t become official until 1969.
Now to complete the “trilogy.” In 1986, Dave Righetti set the record with 46, a record that stood for a few years until Bobby Thigpen saved 57 for the 1990 White Sox (the record is now 62 by K-Rod with the 2008 Angels).
Dave Righetti wound up with 252 saves in his career. It’ll always be a mystery whether he could have won 200 games.
For Righetti started his career as a starter. After the 1978 season, the season when, according to Graig Nettles, Sparky Lyle went from “Cy Young to Sayonara,” Lyle was traded to Texas. One player coming to the Yanks in that ten-player trade was a young lefty still a few weeks away from his 20th birthday—Dave Righetti.
Righetti started three games for the 1979 ..read more