Hoffman honored to have number retired
All-time saves leader to be immortalized on Aug. 21
SAN DIEGO -- Trevor Hoffman, the Major League career saves leader who spent almost 16 full seasons pitching for the Padres, admitted to being mildly surprised at how well he kept his emotions in check during his January retirement announcement at PETCO Park.
"When you walk down memory lane, I have a tendency to get a little emotional. I think I did fine with the announcement of retirement," Hoffman said recently. "But I'm sure the next time, there will be more family members there ... video and things that will be said."
Chances are Hoffman won't be quite so successful in holding back his feelings on Aug. 21 when the Padres honor Hoffman in a special postgame ceremony during which the organization will retire his uniform No. 51.
The Padres announced Thursday their plans for the ceremony that will take place after a 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Marlins at PETCO Park. The ceremony will be open to fans who have a ticket for the game.
Fans will receive an exclusive Hoffman giveaway item to commemorate their attendance.
Hoffman's family, friends and former teammates are expected to be on hand for the ceremony. Skipper Bud Black, who managed Hoffman in 2007 and 2008, will be in attendance as will Hoffman's older brother, Glenn, the Padres' third-base coach.
"I'm extremely flattered by this and really excited about it," Hoffman said Thursday. "Unlike [Hoffman's retirement announcement in January], this will be more of a celebration, something that's in-season and that I can share with the fans."
The 43-year-old Hoffman, who works in San Diego's front office as a special assistant to team president and chief operating officer Tom Garfinkel, earned 552 of his 601 career saves with the Padres from 1993-2008.
Hoffman was a seven-time All-Star and finished in the top six in National League Cy Young Award voting four times and the top 10 in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting twice.
"We play a team sport, so to have this happen ... it's pretty special," Hoffman said. "I'm extremely proud."
Coincidentally, Hoffman's ceremony will be held after a game against the Marlins, the team with which he broke into the Major Leagues in 1993. Hoffman, originally selected by the Reds in the '89 First-Year Player Draft as a shortstop, was picked by the Marlins in the '92 Expansion Draft. He made his Major League debut the following season before he was traded to San Diego in a June deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida.
The rest, as they say, is history -- a career that will be highlighted when Hoffman becomes the fifth player in Padres history to have his number retired.
The others to have their uniform number retired are Steve Garvey (No. 6), Randy Jones (35), Tony Gwynn (19) and Dave Winfield (31). Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball.
"We are excited to honor Trevor for his tremendous playing career and thank him for his contributions to Major League Baseball and, specifically, the San Diego Padres," Padres vice chairman/chief executive officer Jeff Moorad said.
"He is an iconic figure in Padres history and is unquestionably deserving of a celebration to be remembered for years to come."
Hoffman and his wife, Tracy, have three sons, Brody, Quinn and Wyatt. They make their home in San Diego and are active in several charitable endeavors. Hoffman was the local recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award six times and was given the Lou Gehrig and Teammates for Kids Award in 2006.
Hoffman also received the Branch Rickey Award for humanitarian efforts in 2008, the Hutch Award for outstanding community service in '05, and was the recipient of the 1999 Padres Chairman's Award.