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Street excited to have 300 saves in reach

ANAHEIM -- Angels closer Huston Street entered this weekend's series against the Mariners just five saves away from 300 for his career. It may not be 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, but it's a distinguished round number nonetheless. Only 26 players have reached the milestone since saves became an official stat in 1969.

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"I think 300 saves, when you look at it historically, that number is kind of a separator," Street said. "You look at everyone with 300 saves, and every single one of those guys is considered to be extremely good. And I think it just validates who you are as a player, for the time you've been. I'd be lying if I said I'm not excited."

Street has been a closer since getting drafted 40th overall by the A's in 2004. He averaged 28 per year for his first 10 seasons -- with the A's, Rockies, Padres and Angels -- and he is on track to become just the sixth pitcher to reach 300 saves by season No. 11.

The others: Mariano Rivera (379), Trevor Hoffman (352), Jonathan Papelbon (338) Troy Percival (324), Robb Nen (314).

Street calls 300 saves "a mile marker on the way to where you really want to go, which for me is to win a World Series."

But he isn't ashamed to admit he's thought about where he can end up.

Street is still only 31 years old, with a contract that can run through 2018. If he averages 30 saves over the life of his deal -- perfectly reasonable, considering he already has 20 this year -- he'd have 395, good for 6th on the all-time list at the age of 35.

Three more years of averaging 28 saves, and Street would pass Lee Smith (478 career saves) for third on the all-time list, trailing only Rivera (652) and Hoffman (601).

"I'll enjoy 300," said Street, with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in his first 29 appearances. "I really will. It'll be a special night when it happens. I don't want to pretend like it won't mean anything to me, because it'll mean a lot to me. But then the next day I'll wake up, 'All right, let's start again.'"

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast.
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