If you take a look at the greatest players in Colorado Rockies history, or even just the greatest pitchers, or even just the greatest relief pitchers, you won’t find the name Gabe White.

Nor should you.

He pitched only 150.2 total innings for the team across two seasons and the latter 67.2 innings, comprising his second year, were pretty bad.

But his 83-inning campaign, in the year 2000, may have been the best relief pitching this franchise has ever seen.

On April 5, 2000, Gabe White pitched an inning for the Cincinnati Reds against the Milwaukee Brewers and gave up a pair of runs on a pair of hits. That turned out to be more runs than he gave up in the month of May. And June. Combined.

The Reds almost certainly didn’t see that coming or they would probably not have traded him to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Manny Aybar who posted a 4.83 ERA that season.

White would go on to pitch 83 innings for the Rox with a 2.17 ERA, 82 strikeouts, and a 268 ERA+, still a franchise record.

During a 27-game stretch from May 1 to July 6, the hard-throwing lefty surrendered just one run on 16 hits over 29 innings pitched while striking out 31 batters.

He had a mild setback in mid-July, giving up runs in a few consecutive contests before rattling off another stretch of 17 games from July 20 to September 4 where he gave up a grand combined total of three runs. 

ERA+ adjusts for the league and the ballpark so it reflects the fact that Gabe White not only put up a season that would be statistically impressive anywhere, but that he managed to do it in one of the most difficult environments ever to exist for a pitcher, pre-humidor Coors Field at the height of the steroid era.

In Rockies history, you could make a case that the best individual season belongs to Daniel Bard from a year ago since he also had the Saves, or maybe go back to Manny Corpas in 2007 if you really want to factor in the highest-pressure moments. But nobody was harder to score against than Gabe White.

As strange as all of this is, perhaps none of it is weirder than that after all this, he was truly bad in 2001, posting an ERA+ of 85 before the Rockies traded him back to Cincinnati, for Denny Reyes who pitched one OK season for Colorado before being traded for Gabe Kapler (imagine being traded for two Gabes), and Pokey Reese who never played for the team and was immediately flipped for Scott Hatteberg from Boston, who also never played for the Rockies as he was immediately cut so he could go join the Moneyball A’s.

White put up one more decent year for the Reds before becoming a league-average journeyman for the rest of his career but for a brief moment there, Gabe White was the best in the biz.