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July 29, 2018

Trevor Hoffman

Cooperstown, New York

TREVOR HOFFMAN: Hello Cooperstown!

I hope you're enjoying a little bit of San Diego weather today. Allow me to drop an "Oh Doctor" on you -- you San Diego fans have made the long journey, and those back at Petco Park, you get it -- Jerry Coleman's signature call you heard with Uncle Teddy. It's an honor being up here with the other great shortstops of the game...wink, wink.

When I was a struggling shortstop in a Cincinnati organization three decades ago, I could have never imagined being here today. My transformation from an infielder to relief pitcher to closer, it's been an amazing journey capped by this amazing moment.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jane Forbes Clark for her fantastic hospitality, Jeff Idelson and his staff, especially Shesta and Whitney on all the logistics, and thank you, Commissioner Manfred, for all you do for the game. The members of the Baseball Writers Association for sending me into the Hall of Fame. Equally important is the way they tell the story of our great game, the National Pastime.

My fellow members of the Class of 2018 -- Tram, Jack, Vlad, Chipper and Jim -- congratulations. It's an honor.

Yesterday's ceremony featuring Sheldon and Bob was absolutely amazing. We stand here at the doorstep of one of the great shrines of all of sports. Each member of the Hall of Fame has a unique story, not only those who are already enshrined, but those who will join us in the future.

"Talent is God-given, be humble. Fame is man-given, be grateful. Conceit is self-given, be careful." John Wooden.

Coach Wooden's inspirational quotes and pyramid of success are meaningful to me. He spoke of the building blocks necessary to reach one's personal best. When I look back at my life and the events that brought me to this fantastic day and place, of honor both apply, the first being my parents. Dad, I know you're in heaven enjoying a cigar with a big grin on your face.

He was a simple man who achieved great things in his lifetime. My father, Eddie Hoffman, was a marine who fought in World War II. He was a professional singer that traveled through the world. Known as the singing usher of Anaheim Stadium, he was the first closer in the family, routinely filling in to do that.

One of his greatest joys was watching his boys play in the backyard. We played anything and everything, and he was at peace watching it all go down. His greatest gift shown to me was his humility. His love for baseball was passed on to my mom, who is here with us today. She is the biggest baseball fan I know. And that's saying a lot for somebody born and raised just outside of London, England. My mom was a ballerina, and she takes all the credit for our athleticism. And growing up she would always say if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Thank you, Mom. You couldn't have been more right.

Oh, my brothers, who are 9 and 13 years older, would position me next to the television to turn the channels up and down. I was their human remote control. But I didn't care, because all I ever wanted was to be around them. They would never let me win at anything, but when I did win, I knew I'd earned it. Each taught me lessons that became cornerstones of what I became and who I am.

Greg, you taught me to be an unselfish teammate. I came home from a game one day and you asked me, Trev, how did you do? You made it very clear you meant the team and not my personal stats.

Glenn, you taught me to prepare selfishly. You've been in professional baseball for 42 years, when you talked, I listened. I took to heart what you told me when I was starting out: Never leave yourself with a question, "What if?" When I graduated Savanna High School, I was 5-foot something, 100-and-nothing. I headed to Cypress Junior College where I got the opportunity to play for Coach Scott Pickler and Bill Pinkham. Coach Pick helped me develop both emotionally and physically and taught me the fundamentals of the game. Congratulations, Pick, on your well-deserved recent induction in the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

My next landing spot was the University of Arizona, where I got to play for another Hall of Fame coach, Jerry Kindall and his staff of Jim Wing and Jerry Stitt. Coach Kindall's attention to detail was off the charts, and it's something I'll always remember along with my fellow Wildcat teammates.

At Arizona, I learned more about the value of teamwork while playing alongside future Major Leaguers J.T. Snow, Kevin Long, Lance Dixon and Scott Ericson. Thank you to my late scout, Jeff Barton, for giving me the opportunity to play at the next level.

Two years into pro baseball, I'm reminded of another John Wooden quote: "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

You see, as a struggling shortstop in Charleston, West Virginia, my career path changed. Thankfully Mike Griffen and Jim Lett believed in my strong arm and floated the idea to Chief Bender that I could make the transition to the mound and give my baseball career a second chance. Off to the mound I went. Two years in the Minors, two months in Florida, and I find myself in San Diego.

I went to the Padres in a controversial "fire sale." Little did I know then that Padres general manager Randy Smith was putting together a collection of young players with an eye to the future.

25 years ago I met new teammates Andy Ashby and Brad Ausmus. We formed meaningful friendships and watched our families grow together. Andy and Tracy, Brad and Liz, thanks for being here today.

Wow, 15 years in one spot, and that spot, San Diego. Jackpot. Thanks to my agent, Rick Thurman. My third base coach, Bruce Bochy, becomes my manager the following year. He connected, inspired, and challenged his players to reach heights they didn't think possible. Bochy, you believed in me from day one, and I couldn't be more thankful. Unprecedented that you're here today, bud, and I appreciate you making that effort.

I'm thankful to my late coach, Darryl Akerfield, for always having a watchful eye, and Darren Balsley, who is bullishly optimistic for his pitchers and has always had the ability to communicate everything needed by saying less.

Mark Merila and Justin Hatcher, you got me ready to go into countless games.

And there were countless hours spent in the training room with trainer Todd Hutchenson. Hutch, I know I told you this before, but I don't play as long as I did without you.

And all of clubby nation, especially Tony Pettricca, Sonny Jaramillo and Spencer Dahlin, you may not have worn the uniform, but you were equally as important.

My teammates, batting average, ERA, OPS, and all the other numbers of the game, there is no statistic that can quantify what you mean to me. But there is a word, and it's chemistry. Chemistry is what I strive for every year I played. I define chemistry as you leave your ego at the door, be unselfish, trust one another, overcome odds, and always try to find fun in the game. I have absolutely been overwhelmed by all my teammates' support. All those here in attendance today, would you please stand and be recognized?

Thank you for allowing me to cherish the role of teammate. I can't believe it's been 20 years since the Padres made it to the World Series. It feels like yesterday. With Kevin Towers' vision, we were a group of guys that became a team. We still have a special bond with so many making an effort being here today. John Moores and his family treated us just like that, family. Kevin Towers, Rob Picciolo, Ken Caminit, and Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, we miss you all and lost you all too soon.

1998 was the start of Hells Bells, and you, the fans of San Diego, made it what it was. Enthusiasm and energy created from the second you heard the first bell as I stepped onto the field made every home game amazing. No one could have envisioned an entrance song being so exciting.

Having to leave San Diego and another great manager in Buddy Black was not an easy decision, but Hells Bells rocked the Miller Park too. And although my time in Milwaukee was brief, I'm truly thankful for the fans embracing me. Milwaukee isn't just beer and brats; the friendships I created will always be remembered.

The Brewers are a great organization from the top down, and I'd like to give special thanks to Bud Selig, Roger Caplinger, keep up the fight, Rog, and Bobby Uecker. Uke, I appreciate you letting the boys play shake of the day in the clubhouse. They owe you.

2 Timothy 4:7: "I fought the good fight, I finished the race and I have kept the faith." A verse my friend Mike Sweeney shared with me in 2010 upon retirement. We both left the game with no regrets.

Thank you, Ron Fowler and Peter Siedler, for allowing me to stay in baseball. I love San Diego and love being a Padre for life.

San Diego is a military town, and each home Sunday the Padres honor the men and women of armed forces that provide the blanket of freedom we all enjoy. Freedom is not free.

A big thank you to the rest of the Padres organization, especially Katie Jackson, Nicky Patricarca, Eric Meyer and Wayne Partello for having done an amazing job celebrating this momentous occasion.

Mark and Jamie Kotsay, thank you for being our traveling teammates and showing Tracy and I just how fun the world can be. Glenn Doshay, King Outlaw, you're an ultimate organizer and baseball fan, my friend.

And of course my extended family here today. We have a big group of Hoffmans, Burkes, Mantis, and Millers. I appreciate all your love and support. My in-laws, Charlie and Nancy, from Buffalo, New York, you've been so supportive and always willing to help. You used to watch our boys, and now you watch our bulldogs.

To my sons, be more concerned with your character than your reputation. "Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." John Wooden.

My kids never count how many saves I have, they just want to know I love them.

It's not about who the world says I am, it's about who I am to my kids. Now don't get me wrong, if I didn't do my job and they didn't get to go in the clubhouse, they cared.

Brody, your humor is a gift; give it freely. Quinn, your determination and leadership is a blessing. Wyatt, I love your tender heart and free spirit, man. Always use it.

Tra, you're more beautiful today than the first day I laid eyes on you. Thank you for giving up all your numbers. You shared with me this amazing journey of up and down from the beginning, always letting me never get too high or get too low.

Our faith is the foundation this family sits upon, and as a mother, you've always been the boys' biggest advocate; and as a wife, you've always given me your love unconditionally. I love you.

Thank you all for allowing me to share this beautiful day with you all. And in closing, to achieve true success, there are no shortcuts. Thank you.

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