Clay Carroll

Carroll was the mainstay of the “Big Red Machine” bullpen. The chunky stopper recorded 88 relief wins and 143 saves, including 37 in 1972, then a single-season record. His performance won him the Fireman of the Year award.

Carroll came up through the Braves farm system and led the NL with 73 appearances in 1966. The good-natured country boy went to Cincinnati in a mid-1968 deal and never had a losing season. He threw mostly fastballs, and also had a variety of effective breaking pitches. Johnny Bench explained, “Clay tells you he can do the job and then he goes out and does it.” Carroll appeared in more than 50 games in each of his eight seasons in Cincinnati and led the NL with nine relief wins in 1970.

The Reds lost the 1970 WS to Baltimore in five games, but Carroll had Cincinnati’s only win and appeared in four games without allowing a run. He maintained his WS effectiveness in 1975, winning the seventh game over Boston.