Rolaids Relief Man Award
The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers are the pitchers who enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1987 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.
The inaugural award winners were Bill Campbell (AL) and Rawly Eastwick (NL); Campbell also won in the following season. Dan Quisenberry and Mariano Rivera each won the AL award five times, while Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter won the award four times each. Lee Smith won the award on three occasions; Campbell, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Righetti, John Franco, Éric Gagné, Randy Myers, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodríguez, Heath Bell, and José Valverde each won the award twice. Sutter (NL 1979), Fingers (AL 1981), Steve Bedrosian (NL 1987), Mark Davis (NL 1989), Eckersley (AL 1992), and Éric Gagné (NL 2003) won the Relief Man and the Cy Young Award in the same season; Fingers and Eckersley won the AL MVP as well, in 1981 and 1992 respectively. Todd Worrell won both the Relief Man and the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the 1986 MLB season. Rivera and Joe Nathan were the only relief pitchers to have tied in points for the award, and both were awarded in 2009. Goose Gossage, Fingers, Eckersley, Hoffman, Rivera, Smith, John Smoltz and Sutter were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Kimbrel (NL) and Jim Johnson (AL) were the final award winners in 2012. Sanofi acquired Rolaids from Johnson & Johnson unit McNeil Consumer Healthcare in 2013, but the award was not continued as a part of its marketing strategy.
|ERA||Earned run average|
|WHIP||Walks plus hits per inning pitched|
|Pitcher (#)||Denotes winning pitcher and the number of times they had won the award at that point|
|*||Denotes player who is still active|
|†||Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|‡||Denotes multiple winners|
National League (1976–2012)
American League (1976–2012)
- a Won Cy Young Award and MLB Most Valuable Player Award in the same season.
- b Won Cy Young Award in the same season.
- c Won MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the same season.
- Major League Baseball Reliever of the Year Award (in each league)
- TSN Reliever of the Year (discontinued)
- Cy Young Award (in each league)
- Triple Crown (pitching)
- Pitcher of the Month
- "Esurance MLB Awards" Best Pitcher (in MLB)
- "Players Choice Awards" Outstanding Pitcher (in each league)
- SN Starting Pitcher of the Year (in each league)
- SN Relief Pitcher of the Year (in each league)
- Warren Spahn Award (best left-handed pitcher)
- Baseball awards § United States
- "Rolaids Relief Man Award Past Winners". McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "Relief Man Award winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Rookie of the Year Awards & Rolaids Relief Award Winners". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
- "About The Award". McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
- "Cy Young Award winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Most Valuable Player winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Rookie of the Year winners". Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Hall of Famers". Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
- Van Riper, Tom (April 10, 2014). "Why Can't Baseball Monetize It's Big Postseason Awards?". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014.
- Neyer, Rob (April 9, 2014). "Kissing the Rolaids Relief Award goodbye". FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014.