Back when the beard was fashionable, some star firemen sported facial whiskers that gave opposing batters nightmares. Bruce Sutter, Gene Garber, Jeff Reardon and Bedrock Bedrosian were stars of the Bearded Brigade who nailed down saves while hurting the stock value of razors. Bedrosian nailed down 184 saves during his career and won the 1987 Cy Young Award as one of the few relief hurlers to take home the hardware.
Bedrock was drafted by the Braves in 1978 and was used as a starting pitcher throughout his minor league seasoning days. But when the Braves gave him his first taste of Major League Mocha Java, he made one start in fifteen appearances during the 1981 season. With Atlanta to stay in 1982, Steve was used strictly as a relief pitcher his first full season in the Majors. Bedrock fashioned a 2.42 ERA out of the Braves bullpen where he served as closer Gene Garber’s setup-man.
Steve tallied 19 saves in 1983 for skipper Joe Torre’s strong bullpen that featured Bedrock, Garber, Donnie Moore, Terry Forster and Rick Camp. In 1984, Steve led the Braves with a 2.37 ERA. When the Braves brought in Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter to serve as their closer in 1985, new skipper Eddie Haas made Bedrock a starter. He had an unflattering 7-15 record but kept his ERA below 4.00. After the season the Braves traded him to the Phillies with outfielder Milt Thompson for pitcher Pete Smith and slugging backstop Ozzie Virgil. With the Phillies, Steve returned to the bullpen and had his finest years putting out fires in Philadelphia.
Bedrosian nailed down 29 saves his first year with the Phillies and then paced the senior circuit with 40 saves in 1987. Bedrock was named to the NL All-Star team and won one of the tightest Cy Young Award races in history. Steve brought in 57 points, Rick Sutcliffe of the Cubs had 55 and Big Daddy Rick Reuschel was given 54. In 1988, Steve saved 28 games for the Phillies but in June of ’89, he was swapped to the Giants with outfielder Rick Parker for third baseman Charlie Hayes and a pair of southpaws named Terry Mulholland and Dennis Cook. The trade allowed Steve to see postseason action.
Bedrock saved 17 games for the Giants down the stretch while leading them to October play. In that season’s NLCS, Steve saved three games against the Cubs but could do little but watch as his Giants were swept by the Oakland A’s during the World Series. After the 1990 season, Steve was traded to the Twins with whom he won his lone World Series ring. In the ALCS, Steve had a perfect 0.00 ERA and he was used in three contests against the Braves.
Forced to retire after the season, Steve suffered from numbness in his pitching hand which kept him off the diamond in 1992. When his ailment subsided he returned to action in 1993 with Bobby Cox’s Atlanta Braves. Bedrock had a brilliant comeback year in ’93 when he posted a 1.63 ERA out of the Braves pen. Untouchable, the veteran firemen averaged a stingy 0.680 hits per inning. In ’94, Steve fanned 43 batters in 46 innings, narrowly missing out on a strikeout per inning. He pitched one final year with the Braves in ’95 before calling it quits.
W 76/L 79/PCT .490/ERA 3.38/G 732/SV 184/IP 1,191/H 1,026/BB 518/SO 921