Fred Gladding was one of the "players to be named later" in the trade that sent Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews from the Astros to the Tigers in 1967. After an injury riddled 1968 season, Gladding led the NL with 29 saves, the first year that saves were an officially recognized statistic. Gladding spent his entire 13 season career as a relief pitcher. He made exactly 1 start in 450 appearances. In his only start he pitched 5 scoreless innings but didn't get the decision as the Orioles beat the Tigers with a Brooks Robinson 2 run walk off homer.
Wayne Granger and Cecil Upshaw tied for 2nd in the NL with 17 saves each. Despite trailing Gladding in saves, Wayne Granger was named Sporting News Fireman of the Year. Granger also led the league in games pitched and games finished. The youngest pitcher of the group also had the lowest ERA with 2.80 and most relief wins with 9. Galdding had 4 wins and a 4.21 ERA, Upshaw won 6 and had an ERA of 2.91