Harvey was named Rookie Pitcher of the Year for 1988 by The Sporting News when he had 17 saves and a 2.13 ERA to establish himself as the ace of the Angels ‘ bullpen. He followed up that impressive debut with consecutive 25-save seasons and a league-leading 46 saves (to go with a sterling 1.60 ERA) in 1991. In 78.2 innings, Harvey struck out 101 while issuing just 17 free passes.
Harvey relied on a forkball with a big shoulder turn that left hitters befuddled. “Some of the real good old spitballs and J.R. Richard’s 90-plus slider were as close to being unhittable as you get,” opined Doug Rader, a coach with Florida when Harvey pitched for the Marlins. “Harvey’s forkball is in that category.”
1991 marked Harvey’s first All-Star selection, and his second would come just two years later when he saved 45 of the expansion Marlins’ 64 wins. But injuries not caught up with him in 1994 — he underwent abdominal surgery in July — and Robb Nen stepped in admirably as the Marlins’ top fireman. In 1995 Harvey gave up a three-run shot to Glenallen Hill on April 28 before leaving the game with an elbow injury. It was his only appearance of the season and the last of his career.
Harvey’s daughter, Whitney, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder in 1990. He donated his prize money from winning the Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1991 ($20,000) to a charity supporting those afflicted with the disease, called Angeman Syndrome. “Just seeing her every day makes my job easy,” he told Baseball Weekly in 1992. “Whitney lives with her problems every day. That’s why I don’t get really, really down after a bad game or something.”