MLB saves leader calls it a career

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:11 PM ET

SAN DIEGO -- Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, has officially retired after 18 seasons.

The 43-year-old right-hander leaves the game with 601 saves, 42 ahead of current New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. He recorded 552 of his saves with the Padres, including nine seasons of at least 40 saves and another four with at least 30.

He also wound up with a 61-75 record and a 2.87 earned run average, a .211 opponents batting average and 1,133 strikeouts in 1,035 relief appearances.

Hoffman will join the Padres' front office in a still-to-be-determined role.

"Trevor is one of the most important and iconic figures in Padres history," said CEO Jeff Moorad. "On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank him for all he has done for the Padres and the city of San Diego. His accomplishments on the field are matched only by his contributions and dedication to our community. We are proud and fortunate to have him rejoin the Padres family."

Hoffman struggled in his final season in 2010 with Milwaukee, going 2-7 with a 5.89 earned run average over 50 games and eventually lost his job as closer to rookie John Axford.

"I had a pretty good idea toward the end of the season," Hoffman said when asked when he started thinking about retirement. "I didn't want to make a rash decision when emotions were riding high at the end of the year."

His difficulties came one year after recording 37 saves and a 1.83 ERA in 55 outings in his first season with the Brewers.

The seven-time All-Star was originally signed as a shortstop and was turned into a relief pitcher in the Cincinnati organization.

He broke into the big leagues with Florida in 1993 and was traded to San Diego later that season.


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