During his career, Richard Michael Gossage averaged 7.45 hits allowed per 9 innings pitched H/9), 7.47 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (K/9), pitched in 1,002 games, earned 310 saves and finished 681 games. He also made nine All-Star appearances and pitched in three World Series. The New York Yankees of the late 1970s and early 1980s arguably pioneered the set-up/closer configuration, which is used by most of the better teams today. The most effective pairing was Ron Davis and Gossage, with Davis typically entering the game in the 7th or 8th innings and Gossage closing. During one stretch, with that pairing, the Yankees won 77 of 79 games in which they led after 6 innings, and they had several other runs that were almost as remarkable.
He led the American League in saves in 1975 (26), 1978 (27) and 1980 (33).
He holds the New York Yankees career record for ERA (2.14) and H/9 (6.59).
Gossage has campaigned openly for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He came close in 2006, receiving 64.6% of the votes of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), but falling short of the 75% necessary for induction. Still, he publicly voiced his displeasure at the decision of the writers to enshrine fellow closer Bruce Sutter into the Hall, but not himself.
Gossage lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is active in the community promoting and sponsoring youth sports. In 1995, the City of Colorado Springs dedicated the Rick "Goose" Gossage Youth Sports Complex, which features five fields for youth baseball and softball competition. He has written an autobiography, released in 2000, entitled The Goose is Loose (Ballantine: New York).