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Article:Top Ten Closers! - Where's Elroy?

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Elroy Face of the Pirates was a pioneer of modern relief pitching and was the archetype of what came to be known as the closer, and the National League's greatest reliever until the late 1970s, setting numerous league records during his career. He was the first major leaguer to save 20 games more than once, leading the league three times and finishing second three times; in 1959 he set the still-standing major league record for winning percentage (.947) with 18 wins against only 1 loss. He held the NL record for career games pitched (846) from 1967 to 1986, and the league record for career saves (193) from 1962 to 1982; he still holds the NL record for career wins in relief (96), and he held the league mark for career innings pitched in relief (1,211⅓) until 1983. Upon his retirement, he ranked third in major league history in pitching appearances, behind only Hoyt Wilhelm and Cy Young, and second in saves behind Wilhelm. Nicknamed "The Baron," he holds the Pirates' franchise records for career games (802) and saves (188).


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