The pitcher who threw the most games over the last decade has retired
Since 2008, one man has led the Majors in games pitched with 739. He wasn't a fireballer. He wasn't usually his team's most dominant reliever. Many times, he ended up on a new team than the one he started the year with. He didn't throw left-handed.
No, his name was
Unfortunately, the days of watching Ziegler's bizarre sidewinding ground-ball machine are over as the reliever announced his retirement on Twitter. And he did it with a heartfelt letter that recalled many of his best days:
Thank you to all my family, friends, and fans. It’s time to move on... pic.twitter.com/tsuTGHM9Dh— Brad Ziegler - FANTASY FOOTBALL - The Athletic (@BradZiegler) October 10, 2018
That included his amazing scoreless streak to open his career -- a career that started at the age of 28, by the way. And while he may never wind up in the Hall of Fame, his cleats reside there:
Hey, @BradZiegler: Congratulations on an outstanding career! Now that you're retired, stop by the Hall to see the spikes you donated from your scoreless innings streak in 2008. Photo: Milo Stewart Jr. @Athletics @Dbacks pic.twitter.com/fbo0QSiArS— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) October 10, 2018
It was a pretty remarkable run for the pitcher, though. Whereas the bullpen is a place for almost endless overturn, Ziegler was a constant -- ready to be called on whatever the situation.
Brad Ziegler was 28 years and 234 days old when he finally made his MLB debut in 2008.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 10, 2018
He still wound up pitching 739 games. Just 80 pitchers in history have more.
It put him in some remarkable company, too:
Most seasons with 65+ Games Pitched & ERA under 2.50:— Jim Passon 🇵🇷 (@PassonJim) October 10, 2018
6 - Mariano Rivera
6 - Darren O’Day
5 - Billy Wagner
5 - Joe Nathan
5 - BRAD ZIEGLER
Given all those appearances and his ability to induce grounders, it should be no surprise that he induced 138 ground-ball double plays in his career. Not only is that the most among relievers since Ziegler joined the league, but it's the 17th most in Major League history.
So, here's a tip of our cap to a pitcher who played unlike any other.