Eight of the greatest relief pitchers in baseball history have added their signatures to 15 special baseballs.
The number of saves in their careers runs into the thousands. During the modern era, they are some of the dominant closers in the game. The list includes all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman and three Hall of Famers. All of the relief specialists have teamed up to help a special cause.
Rollie Fingers helped secure the autographs of eight of the top closers in baseball history on the 15 balls with proceeds going to "The Greatest Save Campaign," a program that provides safety education programs for families, schools, law enforcement agencies and youth-assistance groups to teach children how to be safe from sexual predators.
The autographed balls include: Fingers, Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage, Sparky Lyle; Mariano Riviera; Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith.
Fingers’ 17-year major league career “epitomized the emergence of the modern-day relief ace,” according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. As the national spokesman for KinderVision, Fingers frequently proclaims the organization’s child protection motto, “The greatest save is the one we never have to make.”
That message is inscribed on each of the 15 baseballs.
“The autographs were obtained through the cooperation of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and Fingers, a member of the KinderVision Board of Directors, as well as the participating players. PSA/DNA provided authentication services free of charge.
"It was our pleasure to examine the autographed baseballs and provided the authentication pro bono, for the public good,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA.
Several of the baseballs will be offered to the public during the DHL All-Star FanFest® events in San Francisco, July 6 – 10, 2007, prior to the All-Star game.
“Rollie Fingers and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association have given tremendous help to promote such educational messages. And before he passed away, we also had generous support in the 1990’s from another well-known name in baseball, California Angels owner, Gene Autry,” said Doug Sebastian, Founder and CEO of the KinderVision Foundation, which administers the ‘Greatest Save’ campaign.