(Bobby Thigpen. Photo by Stephen Dunn, Getty Images)
9/03/1990 - Thigpen sets save record
White Sox reliever Bobby Thigpen tallies his 47th save of the year as Chicago beats the Kansas City Royals, 4-2. With the save, Thigpen broke the single-season saves record set by former Yankees closer Dave Righetti, who notched 46 saves just four years earlier. Thigpen would add ten more saves to finish the year with 57, a record that would stand until Francisco Rodriguez broke it in 2008.
"I was getting phone calls all summer, the closer (Rodriguez) got," Thigpen told the Washington Times in 2009. "I knew it was a matter of time before somebody did it. A couple guys got close a couple years in a row - you know, five or six years ago, when [John] Smoltz and [Eric] Gagne had 55 back-to-back - so it was a matter of time. I felt fortunate and happy that I kept it for 18 years."
Thigpen, who had 34 saves in 1988 and 1989, turned out to be somewhat of a one-year wonder. The following season he dipped back to a mere 30 saves, then to just 22 in 1992. He finished his career with the Phillies and Mariners before retiring at the age of 30 due to arm trouble.