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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Before Rivera’s 600, Bill Singer forgot first save

When Bill Singer walked off the mound at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, he didn’t know he’d just made history.

It was April 7, 1969, and the Dodger had just pitched three scoreless innings to protect a 3-2 Los Angeles victory over the Reds on Opening Day.

One of the most unlikely of pitchers had just recorded the major leagues’ first official save, and he had no idea. All he knew was he’d locked down a win for starter Don Drysdale.

“On the bus on the way to the ballpark, (manager) Walt Alston says, ‘I’m thinking about pitching Drysdale six. Can you go the last three?’ I said sure,” says Singer, 68, now the director of pro scouting for the Washington Nationals. “We went out and Drysdale pitched six, I went the last three and got the save and didn’t know anything about that ’til maybe 20 years later.”

...At the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., there is the ball from the no-hitter Singer threw in 1970, along with his Dodgers cap and jersey. But there’s nothing from the first-save game in ’69.

Where’s the ball?

“I have no idea,” he says. “I saved complete-game victory balls, but I never saved that one. I didn’t really realize that was the rule.”

...Singer did get one more save, for the Angels in 1975. He pitched two-thirds of an inning to save a 7-6 win over the Royals in Kansas City on April 30.

He also got a laugh out of it when he was asked on the postgame show about his two career saves.

“One of the announcers for the Angels was Don Drysdale, and he asked me about the save, and says, ‘Where’d you get the other save? How’d that happen?’ ” recalls Singer. “I said, ‘I saved the game for you.’ He didn’t even remember.”

Thanks to Chet.

Repoz Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:34 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Ghost - You know why I'm here. Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4403358)
Right there in the history books, just before Ron Blomberg.
   2. Monty Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4403384)
Who got the first GWRBI?
   3. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4403393)
Who got the first GWRBI?


Dan Driessen with a walk-off walk.

Or maybe George Foster with a first-inning double. BR Bullpen says GWRBI became official in 1981, but other sources say 1980.

Either way, Ken Griffey scored the run.
   4. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4403483)
   5. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:37 AM (#4403962)
Did't Harry Wright have the first (computed after the fact) save back in 1871? (Harry Wright was pretty much first with everything, wasn't he?)
   6. Greg K Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:46 AM (#4403965)
Ten years ago now...

I always thought Michael Scott was based on David Brent, but it turns out it was Bill Singer all this time!

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