Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage (born July 5, 1951 in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is a former right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played 22 seasons from 1972 to 1994 for nine different teams, spending his best years with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. The nickname "Goose" is a play on his surname. Although otherwise known as "Rich" in popular media, to himself and his friends he goes by "Rick".
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was one of the earliest manifestations of the dominating modern closer, with wild facial hair and a gruff demeanor to go along with his blistering fastball. He led the American League in saves three times and was runnerup twice; by the end of the 1987 season he ranked second in major league history in career saves, trailing only Rollie Fingers, although by the end of his career his final total of 310 had slipped to fourth all-time. When he retired he also ranked third in major league history in career games pitched (1,002), and he remains third in wins in relief (115) and innings pitched in relief (1,556¨ø); his 1,502 strikeouts place him behind only Hoyt Wilhelm among pitchers who primarily pitched in relief. He also is the career leader in blown saves (112), three more than Rollie Fingers. From 1977 through 1983 he never recorded an earned run average over 2.62, including a mark of 0.77 in 1981, and in 1980 he finished third in AL voting for both the MVP Award and Cy Young Award as the Yankees won a division title.
Respected for his impact in crucial games, he recorded the final out to clinch a division, league or World Series title seven times. His eight All-Star selections as a reliever were a record until Mariano Rivera passed him in 2008; he was also selected once as a starting pitcher. He now works in broadcasting. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.