Aguilera makes first Hall bid

Former closer Aguilera makes first Hall bid

MINNEAPOLIS -- With former pitcher Rick Aguilera a first-time name on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, there's no doubt fans will have many fond memories.

First, Aguilera was part of a superb New York Mets rotation with Dwight Gooden in the mid-to-late 1980s. In the 1990s, the right-hander's career was defined as one of the game's top closers -- mostly with the Minnesota Twins.

In 16 seasons from 1985-2000 that also included short stops with the Red Sox and Cubs, Aguilera earned two World Series rings.

Aguilera's life in baseball changed in 1989 when he went from New York to Minnesota in the five-player trade that sent starting pitcher Frank Viola to the Mets.

Converted to a closer in 1990, he would go on to notch a Twins club record 254 saves -- with two 40-plus save seasons and six seasons with more than 30-plus saves. He appeared in three consecutive All-Star games from 1991-93. In the 1991 World Series, he went 1-1 with two saves.

"The '91 season stands above all the rest," Aguilera told in 2004. "Just the camaraderie we shared -- we had a very, very close team. We played together between the lines and were close away from the game. It was a very enjoyable season. The playoffs and World Series were just icing on the cake."

  Rick Aguilera's resume
Teams: Mets, Twins, Cubs, Red Sox
Key stats: 318 career saves, six 40-save seasons BA
Awards: Three-time All-Star (1991-93)
Best HOF vote Pct.: First year on the ballot
Peers in Hall: Robin Yount, Kirby Puckett, George Brett
More stats and bio >

Overall, Aguliera amassed 318 saves, which ranks him 13th on the all-time list. He is tied for 54th all-time with 732 games pitched.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.