Goose Gossage, whose Fu Manchu moustache and 95 mph fastball intimidated hitters in the 1970s, has called it a career, after 22 years.
Gossage retired at age 43. He said Tuesday he feels he could still help some major league teams, but realizes he may have run out of chances.
Last year, he was a setup relief pitcher with the Mariners. Team officials assured him he would have a job when striking players returned.
But the Mariners have yet to invite him back, he said.
“I’m not voluntarily retiring. I’m just retired. It’s a bittersweet feeling,” he told the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph.
“But I’m not disappointed. I’ve loved every minute of this game. But if there’s no job out there for me, I can’t play. Everybody in baseball faces it sooner or later. Here I am.”
Gossage, from Colorado Springs, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1970. He made it to the majors two years later and became a ninetime All Star. He was the second major league pitcher to hit 300 saves.
He is finishing his career having pitched in 1,002 games - ranking third on the all-time list - with 310 saves, and a record of 124-107 with 1,502 strikeouts in 1,809.1 innings with a 3.01 ERA.
The pitcher appeared in eight World Series games and was the American League’s top reliever in 1975 and 1978.
Gossage will become eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, with most observers agreeing he will make the cut.
Tony Antanasio, Gossage’s agent in San Diego, said he called Seattle and other teams, including the Colorado Rockies, but was unsuccessful in placing Gossage.
Gossage, between the White Sox and Mariners, also pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.
Gossage is the only major leaguer whose career spanned all eight of baseball’s work stoppages, starting in 1972. During the 1990 lockout, he played in Japan.
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