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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hoffman could save Smith and Walker, too

Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman has saved 475 games in his career and become an icon in San Diego.

His next couple of saves may make Hoffman a bit of a hero here.

By closing out four more San Diego victories, Hoffman will become the all-time leader in that category, surpassing Lee Smith of Castor.

That could be a good thing for Smith, who has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for a handful of years now. Smith needs all the attention he can get if he is going to increase his vote tally and reach Cooperstown. And Hoffman's push toward the record can only help the spotlight shine on Smith.

Smith wouldn't be Hoffman's only local save. Former Airline High and LSU star Todd Walker was traded to San Diego on July 31 and is looking at returning to the postseason for the first time since 2003 when he was with Boston.

And with the way Walker performed that October, he more than likely can't wait to return to baseball's promised land.


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