July 3, 2024

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Canadian Eric Gagné (Mascouche, Que.) will throw out the first pitch prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium tonight.

The ceremonial pitch will mark the 20th anniversary of Gagné notching his 84th consecutive save, which remains the longest consecutive save streak in big league history.

Gagné’s streak started on August 28, 2002 and lasted nearly two full years, until July 5, 2004.

Signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers on June 26, 1995, Gagne was a starting pitcher at the beginning of his major league career, but he found stardom after he was converted into the club’s closer in 2002.

In ensuing three seasons, from 2002 to 2004, the Canuck right-hander topped the National League with 152 saves. He also ranked first in ERA (1.79) among NL hurlers with at least 100 games pitched.

For his efforts, he was selected to the All-Star Game in each of those three seasons, and he captured the National League Rolaids Relief Award in 2003 and 2004.

After tying the National League single-season record with 55 saves, posting a miniscule 1.20 ERA and striking out 137 batters in 82 1/3 innings in 2003, Gagné became the second Canadian (to Fergie Jenkins with the Cubs in 1971) to win the National League Cy Young Award.

In all, in his 10-season big league career, Gagné registered 187 saves – the most by any Canadian. Among Dodgers pitchers, he ranks second in saves (161) behind only Kenley Jansen (350 saves).

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