Monday, June 29, 2009

Mo is no Babe

Mariano Rivera got career save No. 500 last night and also got his first-ever RBI courtesy of a bases-loaded walk. I was thinking about relievers getting saves and also driving in runs, which probably happened more frequently in the past.

That led me to the Tigers' Werner "Babe" Birrer.

Birrer, during his rookie year, got a save against the Orioles on July 19, 1955, thanks to four scoreless innings of relief. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate, with both hits being 3-run homers. Hence, the nickname, no doubt.

It was Birrer's second career save. He finished his career (56 games over parts of three seasons) with four. He finished his career with 2 HR and 6 RBI in 30 PAs.

He played four games for the Orioles in 1956, posting a 6.75 ERA. After being traded by the Orioles, he tossed a no-hitter against the O's Triple-A team.

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