In honor of Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage’s Hall of Fame induction this weekend, I wanted to share my only Goose Gossage Autograph card in my collection. This came from the very popular 2004 Topps Retired set. This is one of the very few Goose Gossage Autograph cards available with him in a Padres uniform. The card was encased by Topps and is sealed with a Topps ‘Uncirculated’ label.
Despite never winning a Cy Young Award, Goose will finally get his due this Sunday. Sure several relievers have passed him on the All-Time saves list, but he is entering the Hall for changing the way the game is played. Goose paved the way for relievers like Eckersley, Hoffman, and Rivera. Because of him, relievers evolved from being guys who weren’t good enough to start. Managers wanted a guy like Goose in their bullpen – relievers became late-inning weapons. One of the true ‘firemen’, when he stepped on the mound, you knew he was going to throw some heat. Of his 310 career saves, 52 required him to record 7 or more outs (that’s at least 2 1/3 innings). That is totally unheard of in today’s era of 1 inning save artists.