Today, Mariano Rivera the best relief pitcher of all time, was honored by the New York Yankees. He leaves as the all time major league leader in saves with 658. His jersey number #42 was retired, making him the first active player to receive that honor. The number had been retired throughout the majors in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball.
Mariano Rivera in the game was like money in the bank. He is the all time leader in an obscure category that spells out how much he improves his team’s chance of winning. He has blown roughly 80 games throughout his career, giving him a phenomenal 90% conversation rate. He leads in all kinds of stats and was just as in good in the post season as he was in the regular season.
He set the goal standard in a high risk position, as closers are judged by their last performance. The Milwaukee Brewers had Trevor Hoffman, the second leading closer, at the end of his career. And Hoffman was unfortunately noted for blowing games, which paved the way for Milwaukee to shift him to set up man.
Rivera has pitched multi- inning games like a charm. It is hard to say too much about this man from humble beginnings in Panama. If I was a young relief pitcher, I would not hesitate to try and emulate him. Hats off to the future Hall of Famer: first round, Like his pitching, his place in the record books is in the bank.
- Yanks laud Rivera with 50-minute ceremony (espn.go.com)
- 42 things you need to know about Mariano Rivera (mlb.si.com)