Dave Righetti ranked among baseball’s top closers in the 1980s and cemented his legacy in the game as a pitching coach. Righetti initially established himself as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. He was elected American League Rookie of the Year in 1981, when he finished 8-4 with a 2.06 ERA in 15 starts. He demonstrated his knack for dominance by throwing a no-hitter against Boston at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1983. One year later, Righetti began a stretch in which he recorded at least 24 saves per year for eight consecutive seasons. He won three games in the 1981 postseason for the Yankees, was an AL All-Star in ’86 and ’87 and captured the league’s Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award in both those seasons. The left-hander rewrote baseball history when he amassed 46 saves in 1986, then a Major League record. He thus became the first pitcher in history to author a no-hitter and lead the league in saves. Righetti held Yankees all-time records with 522 appearances and 224 saves when he signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent before the 1991 season. The graduate of San Jose’s Pioneer High School finished with 252 saves in his big-league career. Righetti retired as an active player following the 1995 season and became pitching coach for the Giants in 2000. Under his tutelage, the Giants consistently assembled one of the top staffs in the Majors.
Inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Plaque location: SFO Gate 81