Hoyt Hilhelm was the first relief pitcher to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He joined the New York Giants as a 28 year-old reliever in 1952, and was 15-3 with 11 saves and he became the first rookie ever to lead the National League in winning pct-.833 and ERA 2.42. Wilhelm pitched his famous knuckle ball for over 20 seasons, retiring at the age of 48. Playing for the Baltimore Orioles in 1959, he was moved back into the starting rotation and won his first nine starts, and finished the year at 15-11. Yet, Wilhelm led the American League with a 2.19 ERA, becoming the first pitcher ever to lead both leagues in ERA, quite a feat. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox in time for the 1963 season and was moved back into the bull-pen. In 1964 he was 12-9, saved 27 games and recorded a low 1.99 ERA. In 1965, at the age of 42, Hoyt Wilhelm hurled 144 innings and picked up 20 saves.
Pitching for the Atlanta Braves at age 46, Hoyt Wilhelm helped them win the NL-West Title. He finished his career with 1,070 game appearances, a all-time major league record. Hoyt Wilhelm's career: 143-122, a low ERA of 2.52, 227 saves, 1,610 K's in 2254 innings and he walked only 778 batters. As a fact- Hoyt Wilhelm picked up 2 big saves for the New York Giants in the 1954 World Series as the Giants swept the powerful Cleveland Indians in four games; and he was still pitching strong at the age of 48 in 1972; and that's a long time. baseballhistorian.com