Possessed of all the classic markings of a closer - a fear-inducing glare, a theatrical, high-leg kick, a killer pitch in the form of a deceptive change up, and AC/DC's "Hell's Bells as his entrance music - Hoffman, 43, ended his career with 601 saves. He entered the league with the Florida Marlins before spending 15 1/2 seasons with the Padres. He closed out his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
"It was a little bit of self-reflection, trying to be honest with where I was at in my career skill-wise, and realizing that it was a time for a change, a change in venue, in a sense," Hoffman said in an interview with The Associated Press of his decision. "It's turning the page, a new chapter in my life."
Hoffman plans to join the Padres' front office in a management role where he'll "be a jack-of-all-trades. I'll learn the sides of the game I haven't been exposed to."
Besides being the game's all-time leader in saves, Hoffman statistics make a strong case for his inclusion into the Hall of Fame. He twice had streaks of four straight seasons with 40 or more saves (1998-2001; 2004-2007) and nine seasons with 40 or more saves, also an all-time best. He was a seven-time All Star and twice won the National League's Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award.
He also stacks up well against the man considered to be the best closer of this generation, Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees. Over his career, Rivera - second place all time in saves with 559 - has converted 89.3 percent of his regular-season save opportunities. Hoffman? 88.8 percent.