Rollie Fingers


Class of 1992

Rollie Fingers


Class of 1992
Rollie Fingers revolutionized the relief pitcher's role in baseball.


Birth year

About Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers had quite possibly the most famous mustache in baseball. But fans didn’t come to the ballpark to see just that. They came to see him close out games with his sinking fastball night after night.

“When he came in, you took a deep sigh of relief,” said former teammate Sal Bando. “You knew the game was in control.”

The 1981 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner spent 17 years in the big leagues with the Athletics, Padres and Brewers. He set the record for career saves – since broken – with 341. The handlebar mustache was first grown in 1972 because a promotion dreamed up by A’s owner Charlie O. Finley.

Finley offered any of the A's players a $300 bonus as part of the promotion, but the mustache soon became Fingers' trademark.

Born on Aug. 25, 1946 in Steubenville, Ohio, Fingers signed with the Kansas City Athletics in 1964. During nine seasons with the A’s, Fingers led the league in games pitched twice and finished in the top 10 in the league in saves seven times.

Fingers won three World Series titles while with Oakland from 1972-74 and was the MVP of the 1974 Series, earning a win and two saves in four games. Fingers won or saved eight of the A’s 12 World Series victories during their three-year run atop the baseball world.

After the 1976 season, Fingers signed as a free agent with San Diego – where he led the league in saves during his first two seasons, the second of which he posted 37 saves and tied the National League record.

“With Fingers, you know exactly what you’re going to get, just about every time out,” said Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson.

Fingers led the league in saves again in 1981, but this time it was in the American League after a trade to the Brewers. Fingers finished his career with 114 wins, a record 341 saves, 1,299 strikeouts, a 2.90 ERA and 1,701.1 innings pitched in 944 games.

“He’s the master,” said fellow relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry. “Look at his durability and longevity. He always knows how to make the right pitch.”

Fingers began his career as a starter, but found limited success once he reached the big leagues. He credits manager Dick Williams for moving him to the bullpen and turning him into a closer.

“Every organization realizes the importance of relief pitching now,” Fingers said. “Whether I had anything to do with that or not, I’ll leave that up to others to determine.”

Fingers got his answer when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

The Basics

Year inducted
Birth Place
Steubenville, Ohio
Birth Year

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
Oakland Athletics
Primary Position
Played For
Oakland Athletics, 1968-1976
San Diego Padres, 1977-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1982
Milwaukee Brewers, 1984-1985

Career MLB Stats


Rollie Fingers Stories

Explore the archives and go deep into the lives, careers, and stories of the Hall of Fame's honorees.

Rollie Fingers’ three days with the Red Sox

Fingers, McGowan, Newhouser and Seaver are inducted into the Hall of Fame

Rollie Fingers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves

Fingers wins MVP

Fingers wraps up A’s dynasty with 1974 World Series MVP

Fingers trades reshaped two franchises

Fingers, Seaver turned pitching dominance into bronze