04/24/08 7:07 PM ET
Percival moves up all-time saves list
Rays closer has career resurgence after not pitching since '05
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
For the veteran closer, the save was the 327th of his career, moving him past former Rays closer Roberto Hernandez for sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list (fourth among active players). John Wetteland is in 10th place with 330 followed by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, in ninth place with 341.
Percival doesn't pay much attention to such matters.
"I knew when I retired where I was at, and I can add three [saves]," Percival said.
Percival's career appeared over last summer when he rejected a Minor League contract from the Angels. But later he accepted a similar deal with the Cardinals, and quickly made the Major League roster, finishing 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 34 games.
Before signing with the Cardinals, the veteran right-hander had not pitched professionally since injuring his right forearm in July 2005. He attempted a comeback with the Tigers the next season, but he never saw the mound. Percival went as far as to sign a contract to coach with the Angels the following year.
While Percival doesn't seem too impressed with his accomplishments, he does keep a sense of humor about them. When told he'd moved up a notch on the list, he clarified the situation for reporters: "Actually, I think I moved down a notch. I was 10 when I retired."
Pressed further, Percival confessed he has looked back at his career in the past.
"You know what, when I retired I looked back and said that was a pretty good career," Percival said. "But while I'm still playing, I'm more concerned that every save I get is one more win for us."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.