For Release — June 3. 2009
Yankee Legend and Hall of Fame Pitcher “Goose” Gossage featured speaker at Business Council Second Annual Golf Tournament
ALBANY— Richard Michael “Goose” Gossage will be the featured speaker at The Business Council of New York State's Second Annual Business Council Member Golf Classic.
National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Gossage is a former relief pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1972 to 1994 for nine different teams, spending his best years with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.
The golf classic takes place on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at the Otesaga Hotel's Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown. Participants will start at 11:30 am with a buffet lunch followed by a shotgun start. There will be a reception and dinner at the Otesaga followed by a dessert reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Gossage will be the keynote speaker at the Dessert Reception and meet informally with those attending the event.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, “Goose” was one of the earliest manifestations of the dominating modern closer, with wild facial hair and a gruff demeanor to go along with his blistering fastball. He led the American League in saves three times and was runner-up twice; by the end of the 1987 season he ranked second in major league history in career saves, trailing only Rollie Fingers, although by the end of his career his final total of 310 had slipped to fourth all-time. When he retired, he also ranked third in major league history in career games pitched (1,002), and he remains third in wins in relief (115) and innings pitched in relief (1,556); his 1,502 strikeouts place him behind only Hoyt Wilhelm among pitchers who primarily pitched in relief. He also is the career leader in blown saves (112), three more than Rollie Fingers. From 1977 through 1983, he never recorded an earned run average over 2.62, including a mark of 0.77 in 1981, and in 1980 he finished third in AL voting for both the MVP Award and Cy Young Award as the Yankees won a division title.
Respected for his impact in crucial games, Gossage recorded the final out to clinch a division, league or World Series title seven times. His eight All-Star selections as a reliever were a record until Mariano Rivera passed him in 2008; he was also selected once as a starting pitcher. Gossage now works in broadcasting. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.
The nickname "Goose" is a play on his surname. Although otherwise known as "Rich" in popular media, to himself and his friends he goes by "Rick". Gossage has written an autobiography, released in 2000, entitled The Goose is Loose (Ballantine: New York).