With only 60 days left until Opening Day of we take a look back at Todd Coffey’s career with the Milwaukee Brewers. But before we get into any specific numbers, fans might have one specific memory about the relief pitcher. There’s still plenty of videos on YouTube where the home squad began cheering on his sprint to the mound, no matter whether the team was winning or losing. As the big screen says, “It’s Coffey Time!”
As that brought loud cheers and smiles to all the fans of teams he went to, a simple question of “why?” always came into my mind. Answering online questions from fans through Brewers.com back in 2009, Coffey was asked just why he runs out of the bullpen when entering a game:
“The reason I run in is because one season in Double-A, I was closing. We took the lead in the bottom of the 8th and scored like six runs. I was jacked up and just ran out there. I liked the way I felt when I did it and just kept doing it. I like when the fans get into it, too!”
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Coffey was claimed off waivers late in the season of 2008 as the Cincinnati Reds had designated him for assignment. He only appeared in 9 games, pitching 7.1 innings, but gave up 0 runs and played with the team through 2010. His most successful year of his career was ‘09 with the Brewers as he pitched 83.2 innings with a 2.90 ERA. That was the lowest among all relief pitchers, besides the All-Star closer Trevor Hoffman (1.83), who had at least pitched 30.2 innings or more as Mitch Stetter (3.60) and Mark DiFelice (3.66) came closest.
Once he left the Brewers after the 2010 season, he certainly made his roundabouts around the league as he played for the Nationals in 2011 and the Dodgers in 2012. Then, after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career, he tried to make a comeback in 2014 signing a minor league deal with the Mariners in 2014 and then a minor league deal with the Braves in 2015 before being released and moving onto the Mexican League for the duration of the season. At 35 years of age, fans know he’s not ready to quit any time soon and will pitch as long as his arm continues to function and he can make a sprint to the mound.