Eric Gagne  

“I would say the best thing that ever happened to him was to become a closer. With his fastball, plus a good changeup, plus a good curveball, nobody has a chance against this guy. This kid is nasty, nasty, nasty.”
—Teammate Odalis Perez

“He has a lot of things going for him. His stuff is the best in the league. Not only is he throwing 96, 97 98 mph, he’s throwing it where he wants to and he’s throwing three pitches for a strike.”
—Teammate Paul Lo Duca

“I think the closer role fits him, and he’s eating it up. I know he’s having fun when he’s smiling. He’s facing the best hitters in the game and doing well. His confidence level has risen to unbelievable heights.”
—Lo Duca

“With his mentality alone, I knew he had the makings of a great closer.”
—Teammate Brian Jordan

“He’s devastating. He throws 95 to 100 mph, he can put it pretty much where he wants it, and his best pitch is his changeup. That’s pretty scary.”
—Teammate Paul Quantrill

“Somebody told me he used his breaking pitch as a ‘show’ pitch. Yeah right. I call it a ‘show-you-back-to-the-dugout’ pitch. There needs to be an ordinance against that.”
—Big-league veteran Trenidad Hubbard

“His enthusiasm for the game fits the role of the closer. The mystique he brings to the mound is great, but it pales in comparison to the stuff he brings. It’s one thing to be flamboyant or have antics, but you can’t intimidate big-league hitters.”
—Padres closer Trevor Hoffman

“Not only does he go out there and get it done, but he gets it done with such devastation. That’s how he’s built a reputation so quickly.”
—Dodgers manager Jim Tracy

“His command is absolutely impeccable, his pitch efficiency as good as there is in baseball. A few years from now he will be a more powerful version of Dennis Eckersley.”

“There’s something about putting on the closer’s clothes that gives Eric a special armor of invincibility.”
—Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colborn

“He’s an ornery guy, but if a ballplayer doesn’t have a little orneriness, you’re wasting your time.”
—Eric’s college coach Lloyd Simmons

Paul Lo Duca,
2002 Upper Deck Vintage



Trevor Hoffman,
1992 Upper Deck Minors


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