Cleveland Indians reliever Jose Mesa walked off the pitcher’s mound on August 20, 1995, with a new major league record in a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mesa had just thrown a record breaking 37 consecutive saves. The Indians were already winning 8-5 when he walked out to the pitcher’s mound in the ninth inning. Steve Sparks took the loss for the Brewers.
The streak started on May 5, went for 46 straight games. Mesa was a hero to the people in Cleveland for the season. Nobody knew everything was going to change for him rather soon. He saved 46 games that season out of the 57 he had the chance to finish.
The 1997 season brought Mesa to his downfall in Cleveland. He blew a save in game seven of the World Series against the Florida Marlins. In 1998 he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants, as a result of his failure the previous year. In 2001 he settled with the Philadelphia Phillies and remained with them until he went to the Colorado Rockies for the 2006 season.
The 2007 season was Mesa’s last, he was back with the Phillies. He finished his career with 321 saves over 19 years. He played had two All-Star appearances. He played for eight different teams. Eight years were with the National League and 13 with the American League.
His debut to the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was 2013, and due to unfortunate circumstances there was a shutout for the vote. This came to be because of the unfair use of performance enhancing drugs used by many players. The cheaters made it so that the better players did not get a chance to be recognized among the sports greatest players. But, there is always next year.