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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 Brad Ziegler, and he threw an endless array of mid-80s sinkers that hitters pounded directly into the ground. In an era of endless 95 mph-plus hurlers who strike out batters by the dozen, Ziegler was an iconoclast with his submarine motion and ability to get batters to hit the ball weakly. 

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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: 

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: 

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. 

It put him in some remarkable company, too: 

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.