Any player who takes the mound as a closer is going to take heat from fans for any loss or rough outing.
In that regard, former Cleveland Indians reliever Cody Allen took his fair share of hate from the fans.
But he was always providing more good than bad.
We are on the topic of Allen because the 32-year-old announced his retirement this week.
So what is his legacy in Cleveland?
Cody Allen, 32, drew some interest but has decided to retire. Nice career. 153 saves, all but four of them with the Indians. Was the closer of their 2016 World Series team, pitching in 4 WS games, and allowing no runs while striking out 12 in 6 innings, and saving Game 3, 1-0.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 17, 2021
Part of the Turnaround
The Indians were still in a rebuild mode when the young reliever made his debut during the 2012 season.
The former 23rd-round pick quickly rose through the system and made his first save with the Indians in 2013.
You may recall that as the year the team finally got back to the postseason by making it to the American League Wild Card Game.
Anyone in attendance, even though the final result was a loss, will never forget the atmosphere.
Allen took over as the closer in 2014 and held that role up through the 2018 season.
Miller’s dominance was a huge part of why the Indians nearly won it all in 2016.
But Allen was just as lights out in 2016.
Pure dominance in the 2016 postseason.@Indians all-time saves leader.
Congrats on a great career and best wishes in retirement to Cody Allen. pic.twitter.com/BWlK5BUpJq
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) February 17, 2021
He posted a 2.51 ERA in the regular season, had 32 saves, and did not allow a single run that entire postseason.
Miller was the hero of the group.
Allen was the one who was there to support Francona’s strategy and bail out Miller if necessary.
Unfortunately, Allen got rocked in the 2018 postseason and the team moved on following the exit.
The Closer’s Legacy in Cleveland
The closer role is becoming hard to define in the modern game.
Allen is someone who took on that traditional role and made history.
He is the franchise-leader in saves with 149, which puts him 10 ahead of Bob Wickman.
And the most notable part of his legacy is he was getting saves when it counted most.
Allen didn’t rack up stats at a time when the team stunk.
He pitched in four separate postseasons with the Indians and left town with a 2.98 career ERA.
Some fans may only remember his declining play from the 2018 season.
One off year doesn’t take away from a seven-year stint in town featuring mostly success.
This was all for a player drafted by the Indians twice.
He chose not to sign the first time and the team stayed persistent, drafting him in the 23rd round of the 2011 Draft.
This may be one of the biggest draft steals in Indians history considering Allen finished sixth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013.
From there the rest is history.
The name “Cody Allen” may not be one that goes down in Indians lore as a legend in franchise history.
Yet those who watched his career in Cleveland will always remember his role in getting the Indians so close to ending their painfully long World Series drought.