Mariano Rivera
Panamanian professional baseball player, relief pitcher
Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera is a Panamanian right-handed baseball pitcher who has played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees. Nicknamed "Mo", Rivera has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees' closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's all-time leader in saves (608) and games finished (892).
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This small, animal-free circus in California is doing what Ringling Bros. couldn’t
LATimes - 17 days
Circus Vargas trapeze artist Yasmin Rivera had donned her red, white and blue leotard and applied her heavy, glittery makeup. Soon she would be dangling from a cable under the big top, more than 20 feet in the air. But as showtime neared on a recent Sunday night in Del Mar, Rivera had a task to...
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LATimes article
War And Peace In Times Of Conflict
Huffington Post - 3 months
And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, "Permit even this." And He touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:47-51 There's a lot of war in the Bible. Early in the Bible's account of history, war was about conquest, because various tribes were trying to establish their boundaries. Now the boundaries are pretty much set. In most cases, everybody knows which country is which. We even have empires. And yet we still have war! Now war is about economic power, or taking someone's land, or getting access to resources like oil, water, or trade routes. But one way or another, most ...
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Growing Awareness
Huffington Post - 5 months
God found a lot of different ways to raise my awareness of the problems of poverty and injustice. For one thing, I started hanging out with Mike King. He's trying to do a new kind of youth ministry, so I hang out with him because I like to see how he's training young people. One of the things he's trying to do is help kids understand what's going on in the world. He introduced me to the Something to Eat program, and when I read about human trafficking in the newspaper I asked him what he knew about the Not For Sale Campaign. As I started learning about problems like hunger and slavery, I started reading more about them. And when I did that, the suffering of these people grabbed my heart. Also, I have boys of my own now, and I'm feeling a strong fathering instinct. I'll do whatever it takes to be sure they are fed. I feel this powerful sense of compassion, and I want to make sure my family is safe. So I really feel for the people that are trying to do whatever it takes and they sti ...
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Big Papi's ballpark tour: Tracking David Ortiz's farewell season
ABC News - 5 months
Editor's note: We'll be tracking Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's final major league journey all season long. Check back here for highlights, recaps and photos from his last stop at each stadium. David Ortiz is ready to say goodbye. Never mind that the iconic Boston Red Sox designated hitter has averaged 31 home runs and a .931 OPS over the past six seasons, remaining every bit the feared middle-of-the-order hitter he was in his prime. At age 40, Big Papi is intent on putting down his bat and retiring after this season. This sets up a farewell tour the likes of which we saw for New York Yankees legends Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in 2013 and 2014, respectively. From Ortiz's first career home run with the Minnesota Twins in 1997 to his 500th last September, he has made memories nearly everywhere he has played. And he has become larger than life in Boston,... ...
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ABC News article
Big Papi's ballpark tour: Tracking David Ortiz's farewell season
ABC News - 6 months
Editor's note: We'll be tracking Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's final major league journey all season long. Check back here for highlights, recaps and photos from his last stop at each stadium. David Ortiz is ready to say goodbye. Never mind that the iconic Boston Red Sox designated hitter has averaged 31 home runs and a .931 OPS over the past six seasons, remaining every bit the feared middle-of-the-order hitter he was in his prime. At age 40, Big Papi is intent on putting down his bat and retiring after this season. This sets up a farewell tour the likes of which we saw for New York Yankees legends Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in 2013 and 2014, respectively. From Ortiz's first career home run with the Minnesota Twins in 1997 to his 500th last September, he has made memories nearly everywhere he has played. And he has become larger than life in Boston, the only link left... ...
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ABC News article
A Tattoo To Remind Me: This Is Who I Am
Huffington Post - 6 months
We think a lot about how permanent tattoos are. Permanence is kind of the point when it comes to tattoos! But tattoos can also be visible or hidden. The tattoo on my left forearm reads, "No Man Shall Live for Himself." This was my second tattoo. And I keep it where I can see it. At first, I didn't think I'd ever get any tattoos at all. Obviously that changed, because you've been reading about my "Solus Christus" tattoo. That sola is so important to me, and a point came when I realized I was definitely going to get a tattoo of it. When I got my "Solus Christus" tattoo, I thought that was it. I didn't think I'd get another one. Everybody was telling me, "Tattoos are addicting! You have to be careful! Once you get one, you'll want more!" But I really didn't think that was going to be me. I thought I'd stop at one. On the other hand, I think I always knew, in the back of my mind, that there would be more. There are some other things that mean just as much to me as that sola. Fir ...
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Yanks draft Mariano Rivera's son
ABC News - 6 months
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hold on, New York. Another Mariano Rivera may one day be wearing pinstripes. With the 872nd pick in the baseball draft on Saturday, the New York Yankees drafted Mariano Rivera III, the son of the legendary reliever, whose fastball has already been clocked in the low 90s. The younger Rivera is a sophomore at Iona College, so it'll be a while before he could be toeing the same mound where his dad established himself as the most productive relief pitcher in major league history. He may not even sign, of course. Nevertheless, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is always happy to hear Yankees and Rivera mentioned in the same breath. "I know he comes from good bloodlines," Girardi said. While chatting with Mariano River in New York this week, the subject of the son came up. "I asked him the other day for a scouting report," Girardi said. "Mo wasn't sure if he got drafted what he would do. But I think it's neat that he was drafted by the... ...
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ABC News article
Big Papi's ballpark tour: Tracking David Ortiz's farewell season
ABC News - 6 months
Editor's note: We'll be tracking Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's final major league journey all season long. Check back here for highlights, recaps and photos from his last stop at each stadium. David Ortiz is ready to say goodbye. Never mind that the iconic Boston Red Sox designated hitter has averaged 31 home runs and a .931 OPS over the past six seasons, remaining every bit the feared middle-of-the-order hitter he was in his prime. At age 40, Big Papi is intent on putting down his bat and retiring after this season. This sets up a farewell tour the likes of which we saw for New York Yankees legends Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in 2013 and 2014, respectively. From Ortiz's first career home run with the Minnesota Twins in 1997 to his 500th last September, he has made memories nearly everywhere he has played. And he has become larger than life in Boston, the only link left... ...
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ABC News article
Rodriguez's Exit: A Chance for Boston Fans to Deliver a Final Verdict - New York Times
Google News - 6 months
New York Times Rodriguez's Exit: A Chance for Boston Fans to Deliver a Final Verdict New York Times Alex Rodriguez at Fenway Park on April 29. Three of his last four games as a Yankee will be played against the Boston Red Sox. Credit Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. When Mariano Rivera bade farewell to Fenway Park, he was saluted with a video montage ... From All-Star Games to World Series: A-Rod's top 10 momentsNew York Post Alex Rodriguez helped the Red Sox much more than he ever would have had he played As Yankees Head to Boston, Rivalry Takes on a Role ReversalWall Street Journal Waterbury Republican American all 51 news articles »
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#MLBRank: Koufax, Joe D, Jackie too high? Maybe, but we're only human
ABC News - 7 months
There's something important you should know about our insane attempt to rank the top 100 baseball players of all time. This list was not assembled by mathematicians, statisticians, sabermetricians, academicians or even dieticians. No sir. This list was assembled by us. By actual human beings. By a bunch of people who love baseball. Who cover baseball. Who write and talk about baseball. And who are pretty sure that we know a little something about baseball (or at least we used to be pretty sure, until we read our Twitter replies). So as you rummage through these rankings, it won't take long before the truth hits you. Some of the players on this list are way, way, way too high. Or way, way, way too low. Let's face it. Ken Griffey Jr. was not the 14th-best player in history. Roberto Clemente was not the 18th-best. Johnny Bench was not the 29th-best. Mariano Rivera was not the 49th-best. They were great. They were cool. They were awesome.. ...
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ABC News article
Yankees to Dedicate Plaque to Mariano Rivera on Aug 14
NYTimes - about 1 year
The Yankees will dedicate a plaque for retired relief pitcher Mariano Rivera in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 14 before a game against Tampa Bay.
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NYTimes article
Huffington Post - about 1 year
People ask me if I'm going to miss being in the game and on the mound. You know what? I don't think so! Maybe there will be times when I miss being a professional baseball player, but I don't think I'm going to miss the on-field stuff. I don't think I'm going to miss the stress. I also don't think I'll miss the competition, because I feel like I already did everything I needed to do on the field. I don't have anything left to prove. I doubt I'll watch a game wishing I was out there. Retirement is still fresh, obviously, so I'm still conscious of just how ready I was, mentally, to be done. Maybe in a year or two I'll miss it a little bit. But I've talked to a few guys who said that they chose their retirement when they knew it was time to go, just the way I did. All of them said that they don't miss the field. They don't miss the stress of a game. They just miss the camaraderie of the game. I think that I'm going to miss being in the clubhouse with the guys. I'll miss laughin ...
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Huffington Post article
Prepare For Impact
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I haven't finished telling you just how grateful I am for the Giants community relations people. I started telling you last time, about the way they got to know my heart and match me with ideal opportunities. They allowed me to represent the Giants, and they also allowed me to represent my passion for teaching and modeling servant leadership. Community relations personnel don't have an easy job! Ballplayers have to dedicate themselves first and foremost to being the best and winning games. On top of that, some of us have families. And even after taking all of that into account, there's just the fact that we're not all the same. Ballplayers have different abilities and skills when it comes to showing our appreciation for the fans and participating in the community. A lot of ballplayers don't have the ability to do the kinds of things that I got to do. It's not that they don't have good hearts, because they do. It's just that they don't feel comfortable. So they focus in areas where ...
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Beyond the Book Fair: New Rochelle, NY Schools Offer Unique Literacy Foundation for Youngest Children
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The foundation of literacy learning for our students begins in earnest even before Kindergarten, in an effort to prepare them not just for elementary school, but also for more challenging secondary school work and college and careers. The opportunities we provide across our elementary schools are unique and sweeping: a dynamic and yearlong reading partnership program with parents; student-led conventions that focus on science and math as a specialized window into reading and writing; and essential instruction through the visual arts and theater. Specifically, at the Barnard Early Childhood Center, home to our community's only Pre-K program and the launchpad for thousands of our youngest learners, teachers have worked tirelessly to implement the nationwide Reading is Fundamental (RIF) initiative. By design, this program relies heavily on parent involvement. Mothers and fathers are embraced as high-value partners and asked to work throughout the year to contribute their energy, commit ...
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Salvation is Only the Beginning
Huffington Post - over 1 year
I've never been in the back of the room at a church meeting, but I can almost see how some go. "Hey," they say. "How are we going to get people saved? We've got to figure out how to get them to say the prayers." I think we're used to thinking in terms of numbers. It's only human to play the numbers game. I mean, think about it. In the baseball world, or anywhere in sports, the concept is, "How many fans can we get in the seats?" After all, that's where the business is. And so we see it in some churches. "How many butts can we get in the pews?" After all, there's our tithe. And you see that a lot, man! You see churches saying, "Fifty people got saved today!" Or, "One hundred people got saved today!" But being a Christian is a lifestyle that we live, not a decision that we make. It doesn't end with being saved. That's where it starts. We should be asking, "How are we going to get people to live a life of Jesus?" That's the concept, because that is joy. That is true joy. Too often ...
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mariano Rivera
  • 2016
    Age 46
    The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Rivera in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park on August 14, 2016.
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    In 2016, ranked Rivera 49th on its list of the greatest MLB players.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera is well respected throughout baseball for his professionalism. Fellow closer Joe Nathan said, "I look up to how he's handled himself on and off the field... You never see him show up anyone and he respects the game. I've always looked up to him and it's always a compliment to be just mentioned in the same sentence as him." Michael Young said of Rivera, "I respect Mo more than anybody in the game. You appreciate someone who respects the game like he does, respects the people he plays with and against, and obviously his results speak for themselves." In a Sports Illustrated cover story about Rivera that was published in the final week of his career, Verducci said of the pitcher, "Few players in any sport have retired with more reverence from his peers." Rivera was the last MLB player to wear the uniform number 42 on a regular basis; at the time of his retirement, he was the only player still grandfathered by the league to wear Jackie Robinson's retired number. Speaking about Rivera's connection to her husband, Robinson's widow Rachel said, "Rivera carried himself with dignity and grace, and that made carrying the number a tribute to Jack... I've always been proud and pleased that Mariano was the one chosen to wear that number because I think he brought something special to it." Presenting him with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, Selig said: "Throughout his illustrious career, he has represented his family, his country, the Yankees and all of Major League Baseball with the utmost class and dignity.
  • 2015
    Age 45
    During the 2015 Little League World Series, he was inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence.
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  • 2014
    Age 44
    New York University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Rivera during its commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2014.
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    In March 2014, Rivera was twice recognized for his philanthropic efforts, receiving the ROBIE Humanitarian Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, as well as a Jefferson Award for Public Service.
    More Details Hide Details Later that month, the "Legends Series", comprising two MLB exhibition games between the Yankees and Miami Marlins, was played in Rivera's native Panama to "honor his legacy"; he helped promote the games, which were supplemented by charitable events and a gala benefiting his foundation. On April 9, 2014, MLB announced that a new annual award for relief pitchers, the Reliever of the Year Award, would replace the existing Delivery Man of the Year Award, and that the AL honor would be named after Rivera. The following month, a section of River Avenue bordering Yankee Stadium at 161st Street was renamed "Rivera Avenue" in the pitcher's honor. This coincided with the release of his autobiography, The Closer: My Story, co-authored with Wayne Coffey.
    In addition to funding church start-ups in Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, California, and Florida, Rivera opened a church in New Rochelle in March 2014 that his foundation renovated at a cost of $3 million.
    More Details Hide Details The church, named Refugio de Esperanza ("Refuge of Hope"), has Rivera's wife Clara as its pastor and hosts a Pentecostal congregation that previously met at the Rivera home. Since retiring from baseball, Rivera has dedicated himself to philanthropy and his churches. He and Clara have twice awarded a scholarship in their names to a student at the local College of New Rochelle. In 2012, the Giving Back Fund estimated that Rivera donated $627,500 to charity in 2010, ranking him as the 25th-most generous celebrity on a list that the fund compiled. He won the 2013 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to the MLB player "who inspires others through his on-field performances and contributions to his community". Rivera was an investor in two New York area restaurants: "Clubhouse Grill", which opened in New Rochelle in 2006 as "Mo's New York Grill"; and Siro's, which opened in Manhattan in 2012. Both restaurants have since closed. In 2015, he opened a Toyota and Scion car dealership in Mount Kisco, New York. Rivera has been a celebrity spokesman for several companies, including: Nike sports apparel; Canali, a premium men's clothing company, as their first athlete spokesperson; Skechers footwear; and Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. A 2011 list by the marketing firm Nielsen ranked Rivera as the second-most marketable player in baseball; the list accounted for personal attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience, and influence.
    He was drafted by the Yankees with the 872nd pick in the 2014 MLB draft, but decided to return to Iona for his junior year.
    More Details Hide Details In the following year's draft, Mariano III was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 4th round with the 134th overall pick. Over the course of his professional career, Rivera learned English, beginning in 1991 with the Greensboro Hornets, when he realized none of his teammates spoke his native Spanish. He is now a proponent of Latino players learning English and of American press members learning Spanish, in order to bridge the cultural gap. Rivera is a devout Christian. During his childhood, neither he nor his family attended church, but after a born-again experience around the age of 21, Rivera became religious and converted from Catholicism to a Pentecostal faith. His parents followed his lead after seeing the difference it made in him. Rivera believes that God has a reason for everything that happens. For example, he found his failure in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series easier to deal with when he learned of the consequences it had for teammate Enrique Wilson. Had the Yankees won the series, Wilson would have remained in New York for the championship parade and would have departed for his native Dominican Republic on American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed shortly after takeoff and killed all 260 people aboard. Rivera told Wilson, "I am glad we lost the World Series, because it means that I still have a friend." Rivera's pitching glove was inscribed "Phil. 4:13", in reference to the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me").
  • 2013
    Age 43
    On September 22, 2013, a day that Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg declared "Mariano Rivera Day", the Yankees held a 50-minute pre-game tribute to Rivera at Yankee Stadium.
    More Details Hide Details In a ceremony attended by former teammates, Yankees staff, and members of Jackie Robinson's family, Rivera's uniform number 42 was retired by the team, making him the first active Yankee to receive that honor. Metallica performed "Enter Sandman" live as he walked onto the field during the festivities. The team presented a video montage and several gifts to Rivera before he addressed the crowd to offer his thanks. Four days later against the Tampa Bay Rays, he pitched in the final game of his career before a home crowd at Yankee Stadium. Entering in the eighth inning to a pre-recorded introduction by late Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard, Rivera pitched innings without allowing a baserunner. In the ninth inning, after retiring Yunel Escobar on a pop fly for the second out, Rivera was removed from the game; with permission from the umpires, Yankees manager Joe Girardi ceremonially delegated the substitution duty to Rivera's long-time teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. After they reached the mound to make the pitching change, the normally reserved Rivera tearfully embraced his teammates for nearly a minute. Walking off the field to a standing ovation from fans and players, he saluted the crowd and then took a curtain call. After the game, he visited the mound for a final time and grabbed a handful of dirt as a memento. Rivera finished his final season with a 2.11 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 44 saves in 51 opportunities, earning him the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award, among several awards.
    After successfully rehabilitating his knee in the offseason, Rivera announced on March 9, 2013, that he would retire after the 2013 season, his 19th in the major leagues.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout his final year, Rivera spent time during visits to each ballpark meeting privately with fans and unsung team employees to hear their stories and thank them for supporting baseball. He explained: "It was important for me to meet the people who make baseball what it is, the people who work in the game every day. They have given me far more than I have given them." Each opposing team returned the favor by honoring Rivera with a gift during his final visit to their city: in Cleveland, the Indians teamed up with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to present Rivera with a gold record of his entrance song "Enter Sandman"; the Minnesota Twins commissioned a rocking chair made of broken bats, many broken personally by Rivera's cutter, called the "Chair of Broken Dreams"; the rival Boston Red Sox gave him a painting and several artifacts from Fenway Park. Many teams made donations to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, the pitcher's charitable organization. Corporate sponsors of the Yankees paid tribute as well; Delta Air Lines dedicated a Boeing 757 airplane with Rivera's signature and uniform number 42 on the exterior, while Hard Rock Cafe retired "Enter Sandman" from its song system at all locations except for its Yankee Stadium restaurant.
  • 2012
    Age 42
    Rivera began the 2012 season by blowing a save on Opening Day but followed it with eight scoreless innings and five saves for the remainder of April.
    More Details Hide Details After just nine appearances, his season was prematurely ended by a freak injury; prior to a May 3 game against the Kansas City Royals, Rivera twisted his right knee on the field's warning track while shagging balls during batting practice, causing him to tear his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Speculation grew that the injury would end his career, as he had hinted at retirement in spring training. Rivera put those concerns to rest the following day when he announced his intentions to return, saying, "Write it down in big letters. I'm not going down like this." He successfully underwent ACL reconstructive surgery on June 12, while his meniscus, previously thought to have been damaged, did not need to be repaired. Rafael Soriano filled in as closer in Rivera's absence and saved 42 games in 46 opportunities. Rivera signed a one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason to remain with the team.
  • 2011
    Age 41
    That same offseason, Trevor Hoffman retired as the all-time regular season saves leader with a final tally of 601, leaving Rivera as the active leader in saves and 42 behind Hoffman's record to start 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera's season was marked by several milestones. He broke the all-time record for games finished, and in May, he became the 15th pitcher to make 1,000 appearances and the first to do so with a single team. He was named an All-Star for the 12th time with a 1.85 ERA and 22 saves in 26 opportunities at the midseason break, but for the second consecutive year, he skipped the game to rest injuries. His pursuit of Hoffman's saves record reached a climax in the final month of the season; on September 13, he collected his 600th save, making him just the second pitcher to accomplish the feat. Four days later, he saved his 601st game, tying him with Hoffman for the most in MLB history. Rivera broke the record on September 19 at Yankee Stadium by closing out a 6–4 win against the Twins, the final out by strikeout. After the game, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli called him to offer his congratulations. Rivera finished the season with a 1.91 ERA, a .90 WHIP, and 44 saves in 49 opportunities, making him the first pitcher over the age of 40 to save at least 40 games in a season. In the offseason, he underwent throat surgery to remove polyps from his vocal cords.
  • 2010
    Age 40
    Rivera ended 2010 with a 1.80 ERA and .83 WHIP, numbers that were among his career bests, though his 33 saves in 38 opportunities and 6.75 strikeouts per 9 innings ratio were below his career averages.
    More Details Hide Details In the postseason, he pitched scoreless innings while saving three games. After becoming a free agent in the offseason, Rivera agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract to remain with the Yankees.
    In 2010, Rivera and two of his "Core Four" teammates, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, became the first trio in any of the four major sports leagues in North America (MLB, NFL, NBA, or NHL) to play together on the same team for 16 consecutive seasons.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera began with one of his best first halves, compiling a 1.05 ERA, 20 saves in 22 opportunities, and .64 WHIP before the All-Star break, and in June, he set a personal best streak with 24 consecutive batters retired. He earned an 11th All-Star selection but withdrew from the game due to lingering oblique and knee injuries. In the second half, he was less effective—he struck out batters half as often, and in September, he compiled three blown saves and a 4.76 ERA.
  • 2009
    Age 39
    Rivera collected several awards at season's end, including his third Delivery Man Award, his fifth AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, and the 2009 Sporting News Pro Athlete of the Year Award.
    More Details Hide Details Reflecting on the decade's end,'s Jerry Crasnick called Rivera the most valuable major league pitcher of the previous 10 years.
    In the postseason, he pitched 16 innings, allowing one earned run and saving five games, and he clinched the Yankees' victory in the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies—his fifth championship.
    More Details Hide Details He was the only closer who did not record a loss or blown save that postseason.
    At the 2009 MLB All-Star Game, he set a record by saving his fourth career All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details In the season's second half, Rivera allowed earned runs in only two of his final 40 appearances, while he set a new personal best for consecutive save opportunities converted with 36. He finished the regular season with a 1.76 ERA, 44 saves in 46 opportunities, and a .90 WHIP.
    In his first 12 appearances of 2009, Rivera surrendered four home runs and had a 3.97 ERA, leading to speculation about his cutter's effectiveness and his shoulder's health at age 39.
    More Details Hide Details As the season progressed, his numbers improved, and he reached a milestone on June 28 by becoming the second pitcher with 500 regular season saves. In the same game, while batting against fellow closer Francisco Rodríguez, he collected his first career run batted in by walking with the bases loaded. With 23 saves in 24 opportunities and a 2.43 ERA in the season's first half, Rivera was selected an All-Star for the tenth time.
  • 2008
    Age 38
    Rivera's 2008 season was one of his best individual years.
    More Details Hide Details Along with a 1.40 ERA and 39 saves in 40 opportunities, he set career bests in multiple statistical categories, including WHIP (.67), on-base plus slugging (OPS)-against (.422), batting average against (.165), save percentage (97.5%), walks (6), earned runs (11), and blown saves (1). He averaged 9.81 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, his best mark as a closer. He pitched with such control that his 12.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio made him the second MLB pitcher ever to record a figure that high in a season (minimum 50 innings pitched). He placed fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
    Rivera rebounded in 2008 and began the year with 16 consecutive scoreless innings pitched and 28 consecutive save opportunities converted, both personal bests to start a season.
    More Details Hide Details His first-half performance, highlighted by a 1.06 ERA and 23 saves in as many opportunities, garnered him his ninth All-Star selection. Leading up to the 2008 MLB All-Star Game, which was held at Yankee Stadium in the venue's final year of existence, a few sportswriters proposed making Rivera the AL's starting pitcher as a tribute to him and his home ballpark. He instead was used as a reliever in the AL's extra-inning win. In the final month of the season, he recorded two milestones: on September 15, he recorded his 479th save to pass Lee Smith for second all-time in regular season saves; on September 21, in the final game at Yankee Stadium, Rivera threw the final pitch in the venue's history, retiring Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles on a ground-out. After the Yankees missed the postseason for the first time in his career, Rivera disclosed that he had suffered from shoulder pain throughout the year. Tests revealed calcification of the acromioclavicular joint in his throwing shoulder, for which he underwent minor arthroscopic surgery in the offseason.
  • 2007
    Age 37
    Still, Rivera finished 2007 with closer career worsts in earned runs (25), hits (68), and ERA (3.15), and his 30 saves in 34 opportunities were his second-lowest total since 1997.
    More Details Hide Details After the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round, Rivera stated his intentions to test the free agent market. He initially indicated that his decision of where to sign would be influenced by whether long-time manager Joe Torre was re-signed. Although Torre did not return, Rivera remained with the Yankees by agreeing to a three-year, $45 million contract, making him the highest-paid reliever in baseball history.
    With his contract set to expire after the 2007 season, Rivera sought an extension with the Yankees during spring training.
    More Details Hide Details Team management refused to negotiate near the start of the season, prompting him to respond that he would consider free agency at the end of the year. In April, Rivera blew his first two save opportunities, compiled two losses, and surrendered nine earned runs in innings pitched. Concerned sportswriters attributed his struggles to infrequent use, as the Yankees presented him with few situations to enter a game. Rivera saved 30 of his next 32 opportunities and posted a 2.26 ERA over the final five months of the season. In addition, he passed John Franco for third place on the all-time saves list with his 425th career save.
  • 2006
    Age 36
    Although a throwing elbow strain sidelined Rivera for most of September, he finished the 2006 season with 34 saves in 37 opportunities and an ERA of 1.80—his fourth consecutive season with a sub-2.00 ERA.
    More Details Hide Details For a second consecutive year, fans voted him the Delivery Man of the Year.
    He saved the AL's comeback victory in the 2006 All-Star Game for his third career All-Star save, tying him with Eckersley for the most ever.
    More Details Hide Details On July 16, Rivera achieved another milestone by becoming the fourth MLB pitcher to reach 400 saves.
    Rivera began 2006 with a 3.72 ERA and two losses in April, but his numbers improved in subsequent months.
    More Details Hide Details On June 6, he saved his 391st career game, passing Dennis Eckersley for the fourth-most saves in major league history. Rivera was selected to his third consecutive All-Star team with a 1.76 ERA and 19 saves entering the midseason break.
  • 2005
    Age 35
    Rivera rebounded in dominating fashion and finished 2005 with his greatest season to that point.
    More Details Hide Details He was selected to the All-Star team, converted 31 consecutive save opportunities, and completed the season with 43 saves in 47 opportunities. He set new career bests in many statistical categories, including ERA (1.38) and walks plus hits per inning pitched, or WHIP (.87). Rivera limited opposing hitters to a batting average against of .177, then the best mark of his closer career. In addition to winning a fourth AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, he placed second in voting for the AL Cy Young Award behind starter Bartolo Colón, and ninth for the AL MVP Award—his best finishes in voting for both awards. During the postseason, MLB announced the Latino Legends Team, a fan-voted all-time roster of the greatest Latino players; Rivera was named the team's relief pitcher.
    His 2005 season began on a low note.
    More Details Hide Details After missing time in spring training with elbow bursitis, he blew his first two save opportunities of the season against the Red Sox, marking four consecutive blown opportunities against Boston dating back to the previous postseason. Fans at Yankee Stadium booed Rivera, and baseball journalists speculated if his days as a dominant pitcher were over. He was subsequently cheered by Red Sox fans during pre-game introductions at Fenway Park the following week, in recognition of his struggles against the Red Sox. He responded to the ovation with a sense of humor by tipping his cap to the crowd.
  • 2004
    Age 34
    Following a career high in appearances in 2004, Rivera did not throw during the offseason, unlike previous years.
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    Although he allowed just one earned run in the 2004 postseason, he blew three of five save opportunities in the two series.
    More Details Hide Details Boston's comeback victories helped them become the first team in MLB history to win a best-of-seven series in which they trailed three-games-to-none.
    Despite his status being in doubt for the 2004 AL Championship Series against the Red Sox, he returned to New York for Game 1 after attending the funeral in Panama earlier in the day.
    More Details Hide Details He recorded a save that night, as well as in Game 2. Although the Yankees led three-games-to-none in the series, Rivera blew saves in Games 4 and 5, and the Red Sox won both games in extra innings to avoid elimination. In Game 4, Boston's Dave Roberts pinch ran and stole second base against Rivera, eventually scoring on a single to tie the game. In Game 5, Rivera entered with a one-run lead with runners on base and allowed a sacrifice fly to tie the score.
    Following the Yankees' victory in the 2004 AL Division Series against the Minnesota Twins, Rivera returned home to Panama to mourn two relatives who had died in an accident in his swimming pool.
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    Prior to the 2004 season, with a year remaining on his contract, Rivera signed a two-year extension worth $21 million, with an option for a third year.
    More Details Hide Details That season, Rivera surpassed 300 career saves and made his sixth All-Star team with 32 saves at the midseason break, then an AL record. His final numbers for the year included a 1.94 ERA and a career-high 53 saves in 57 opportunities; it was his third time leading the major leagues in saves. Along with winning a third AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, he placed third in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
  • 2003
    Age 33
    He became the winning pitcher after Aaron Boone hit an eleventh-inning walk-off home run that clinched the Yankees' series victory and advanced them to the 2003 World Series.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera celebrated by running to the pitcher's mound and collapsing in joy to thank God, as Boone rounded the bases and was met by his teammates at home plate. Rivera was named the AL Championship Series MVP for recording two saves and a win in the series. The Yankees lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins; Rivera saved five games and allowed only one earned run in 16 innings pitched that postseason.
    In the 2003 AL Championship Series against the arch-rival Boston Red Sox, Rivera had one of the most memorable postseason performances of his career; in the decisive Game 7, he entered in the ninth inning with the score tied 5–5 and pitched three scoreless innings, his longest outing since 1996.
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    He finished the 2003 regular season with a new career best in ERA (1.66), along with 40 saves in 46 opportunities.
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    To placate the Yankees' concerns about his durability, Rivera followed a strength and conditioning program in the offseason, instead of throwing. Torre said that he would try to reduce Rivera's workload during the 2003 season to minimize the injury risk to his closer.
    More Details Hide Details However, Rivera suffered a groin injury before the season began, causing him to miss the first month. After returning on April 30, he pitched well in the season's first half, saving 16 games in 17 opportunities. His save on June 12 against the St. Louis Cardinals secured the 300th career win for starter Roger Clemens. Rivera slumped early in the second half; over one stretch, he blew five of eleven save opportunities, but he rebounded to convert his final 15 of the season.
  • 2002
    Age 32
    On May 19, 2002, Rivera recorded his 225th career save, surpassing Dave Righetti as the Yankees' franchise leader in saves.
    More Details Hide Details Over the next few months of the season, injuries limited his playing time. He was first placed on the disabled list in June due to a groin strain, though his first-half numbers, which included a 1.47 ERA and 21 saves, earned him an All-Star selection. In a game on July 14, Rivera endured one of his worst outings, allowing six earned runs, including a walk-off grand slam. One week later, he was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. Rivera was activated on August 8 after receiving a cortisone shot but returned to the disabled list after a recurrence of shoulder tightness. For the season, Rivera recorded a 2.74 ERA and 28 saves in 32 opportunities in just 46 innings pitched.
  • 2001
    Age 31
    Despite having what sportswriters deemed an "aura of invincibility" in the postseason, Rivera failed to close out the decisive Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
    More Details Hide Details In one of his most infamous moments, he blew a save in the bottom of the ninth inning, in part due to his own throwing error, and he lost the Series later in the inning by allowing Luis Gonzalez's bloop single with the bases loaded to score the winning run. It was Rivera's first and only loss of his postseason career, and it snapped his record streak of 23 consecutive postseason saves converted.
    In 2001, he was selected for the All-Star team for a third consecutive year.
    More Details Hide Details His final numbers included a 2.34 ERA, a closer career-high innings pitched, and an MLB-leading 50 saves in 57 opportunities—his second time leading the league in saves. He was just the sixth MLB pitcher to reach 50 saves in a single season. Rivera's performance earned him his second AL Rolaids Relief Man Award.
    With Rivera's contract set to expire after 2001, the Yankees signed him to a four-year, $39.99 million deal prior to the season, marking the first long-term contract of his career.
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  • 2000
    Age 30
    In the 2000 World Series against the Mets, Rivera clinched a championship for his team for the third consecutive year.
    More Details Hide Details It was his fourth World Series title overall. By this point, he had established a reputation as an exceptional postseason performer—journalist Jack Curry called him the "infallible weapon" and "the greatest reason the Yankees were three-time champions".
    In the 2000 season, Rivera was selected as an All-Star for the third time.
    More Details Hide Details On July 8, he saved two games played in two different ballparks as part of a day-night doubleheader against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium. He ended the season with 36 saves in 41 opportunities and a 2.85 ERA. In the postseason, Rivera saved six games, allowed three earned runs in innings pitched, and broke two major league records: he eclipsed Dennis Eckersley's record for postseason saves with the 16th of his career; he also broke Whitey Ford's record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched in postseason play, a streak that ended shortly thereafter at innings.
  • 1999
    Age 29
    Rivera finished 1999 by pitching 43 consecutive scoreless innings in the regular season and postseason combined, and he placed third in voting for the AL Cy Young Award.
    More Details Hide Details After the season, he revealed tentative plans to retire and become a minister after playing four more seasons, though he backed off these plans the following year. In the offseason, Rivera lost his arbitration case, in which he requested an annual salary of $9.25 million, but the $7.25 million salary that the arbitrators awarded him instead set a baseball record for the highest arbitration award.
    In the 1999 World Series against the Braves, Rivera recorded a win and two saves, the second of which clinched the Yankees' championship title, his third overall.
    More Details Hide Details For his performance against Atlanta, he received the World Series MVP Award.
    In 1999, Rivera was selected for the All-Star team for a second time with 23 saves and a 2.29 ERA in the first half of the season.
    More Details Hide Details That summer, the Yankee Stadium scoreboard production staff began playing the song "Enter Sandman" by heavy metal band Metallica as Rivera's entrance music. Staff members selected the song after witnessing in the previous year's World Series how enthusiastically San Diego fans reacted to closer Trevor Hoffman entering games accompanied by AC/DC's "Hells Bells". Although Rivera was indifferent about his entrance music, "Enter Sandman" soon became as much a part of his identity as a closer as his cutter did. After recording three blown saves and a 7.84 ERA in July, he allowed just one earned run over his last 30 appearances. He ended the season with a 1.83 ERA and 45 saves in 49 opportunities, his first time leading the major leagues in saves. He received his first AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, an annual award for the league's best closer based on their statistics.
    An accomplished postseason performer, he was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP, and he holds several postseason records, including lowest earned run average (ERA) (.70) and most saves (42).
    More Details Hide Details Rivera is regarded within baseball as one of the most dominant relievers in major league history. Pitching with a longevity and consistency uncommon to the closer role, he saved at least 25 games in 15 consecutive seasons and posted an ERA under 2.00 in 11 seasons, both of which are records. His career 2.21 ERA and 1.00 WHIP are the lowest in the live-ball era among qualified pitchers. Fellow players credit him with popularizing the cut fastball across the major leagues. Along with his signature pitch, Rivera was known for his precise control, smooth pitching motion, and for his composure and reserved demeanor on the field. In 2013, the Yankees retired his uniform number 42; he was the last major league player to wear the number full-time, following its league-wide retirement in honor of Jackie Robinson. Rivera has been involved in philanthropic causes and the Christian community through the Mariano Rivera Foundation. He is considered to be a strong candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame once he is eligible.
  • 1998
    Age 28
    In the 1998 postseason, he pitched scoreless innings and saved six games, three of which came in the 1998 World Series against the San Diego Padres.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera's save in Game 4 of the series clinched the Yankees' championship, capping off a season in which they won an MLB-record 125 games combined in the regular season and the postseason. By season's end, Rivera had allowed only two earned runs in 35 career postseason innings pitched—a .51 ERA—and by passing 30 innings pitched, he qualified for the major league record for lowest postseason career ERA; it is a record he still holds through 141 innings pitched.
    After spending two weeks on the disabled list with a groin strain during the opening month of the 1998 season, Rivera continued to establish himself as one of the major leagues' best closers.
    More Details Hide Details Moreover, he became the central figure of a Yankees bullpen that, supported by middle relievers Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton, contributed to the team's late-1990s dynasty. That year, Rivera made the cutter one of his primary pitches, and it quickly became his signature, earning a reputation for breaking hitters' bats with its sharp lateral movement. He saved 36 games in 41 opportunities and had a 1.91 ERA in the regular season.
  • 1997
    Age 27
    His first year as closer ended with a blown save in Game 4 of the 1997 AL Division Series against the Cleveland Indians; with the Yankees four outs from advancing to the next round of the postseason, Rivera allowed a game-tying home run to Sandy Alomar, Jr. The Yankees eventually lost that game and the next, eliminating them from the postseason.
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    In the 1997 All-Star Game, he pitched a perfect ninth inning to collect his first save in an All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details That summer, he added a cut fastball to his pitching repertoire after accidentally discovering how to throw the pitch. Rivera finished the regular season with 43 saves in 52 opportunities with a 1.88 ERA.
    Rivera's transition from setup man to closer in 1997 was not seamless; he blew three of his first six save opportunities and indicated that he was initially uncomfortable in the role.
    More Details Hide Details With reassurance from manager Joe Torre, Rivera settled into the ninth-inning role, and he earned his first All-Star selection with 27 saves and a 1.96 ERA at the midseason break.
    Impressed by Rivera's pitching, Yankees management chose not to re-sign Wetteland in the offseason, opting instead to replace him as closer with Rivera. In April 1997, MLB retired the uniform number 42 league-wide to honor Jackie Robinson for breaking the baseball color line, although Rivera was among a dozen players allowed to continue wearing the number per a grandfather clause.
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  • 1996
    Age 26
    In the postseason, he allowed just one earned run in innings pitched, helping the Yankees advance to and win the 1996 World Series against the Atlanta Braves; it was the franchise's first World Series championship since 1978.
    More Details Hide Details In MLB's annual awards voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Rivera finished in twelfth place for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award and third for the AL Cy Young Award, which is given to the league's best pitcher. Commentator and former player Tim McCarver wrote that the Yankees "revolutionized baseball" that year with Rivera, "a middle reliever who should have been on the All-Star team and who was a legitimate MVP candidate."
    In 1996, Rivera served primarily as a setup pitcher, typically pitching in the seventh and eighth innings of games before closer John Wetteland pitched in the ninth.
    More Details Hide Details Their effectiveness as a tandem helped the Yankees win 70 of 73 games when leading after six innings that season. Over a stretch of games between April 19 and May 21, Rivera pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings, including 15 consecutive hitless innings. During the streak, he recorded his first career save in a May 17 game against the Angels. Rivera finished the regular season with a 2.09 ERA in innings pitched and set a Yankees single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever (130).
  • 1995
    Age 25
    His performance in the 1995 American League Division Series, in which he pitched scoreless innings of relief, convinced Yankees management to keep him and convert him to a relief pitcher the following season.
    More Details Hide Details Ban him from baseball.
    After being called up to the major leagues on May 16, 1995, Rivera made his debut for the New York Yankees on May 23 against the California Angels.
    More Details Hide Details Starting in place of injured pitcher Jimmy Key, Rivera allowed five earned runs in innings pitched in a 10–0 loss. He struggled through his first four major league starts, posting a 10.20 ERA, and as a result, he was demoted to Columbus on June 11. As a 25-year-old rookie just three years removed from major arm surgery, his spot on the team was not guaranteed; management considered trading him to the Detroit Tigers for starter David Wells. While recovering from a sore shoulder in the minor leagues, Rivera pitched a no-hit shutout in a rain-shortened five-inning start. Reports from the game indicated that his pitches had reached, about faster than his previous average velocity; Rivera attributes his inexplicable improvement to God. Yankees general manager Gene Michael was skeptical of the reports until verifying that Columbus' radar gun was not faulty and that another team's scout had taken the same measurements. Afterwards, he ended any trade negotiations involving Rivera. On July 4, in his first start back in the major leagues, Rivera pitched eight scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox, allowing just two hits while striking out 11 batters. In five subsequent starts, he was unable to match his success from that game; after a brief demotion to Columbus in August, Rivera made one last start in the major leagues in September before he was moved to the Yankees' bullpen. Overall, he finished his first major league season with a 5–3 record and a 5.51 ERA in ten starts and nine relief outings.
    Beginning the 1995 season with Columbus, he was ranked by sports magazine Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the Yankees organization; by contrast, the publication ranked Rivera's highly touted cousin Rubén as the second-best prospect in baseball.
    More Details Hide Details Mariano's pitching repertoire primarily consisted of fastballs at the time, although he threw a slider and changeup as secondary pitches.
  • 1994
    Age 24
    In 1994, he was promoted from the Class A-Advanced level Tampa Yankees of the FSL to the Double-A level Albany-Colonie Yankees of the Eastern League, and then to the Triple-A level Columbus Clippers of the International League.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera finished the year with a 10–2 record in 22 starts, although he struggled for Columbus, recording a 5.81 ERA in six starts.
  • 1993
    Age 23
    He successfully rehabilitated his arm in early 1993 and resumed pitching that year.
    More Details Hide Details He first joined the Rookie level Yankees to make two abbreviated starts, before returning to the Class A level Hornets to start ten more games. Witnessing him rehabilitate, the Hornets' official scorer Ogi Overman was not optimistic about Rivera's future, saying, "I thought he was on a one-way trip to nowhere."
  • 1992
    Age 22
    Rivera's rehabilitation coincided with MLB's 1992 expansion draft to fill the rosters for two expansion teams, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
    More Details Hide Details Rivera was left unprotected by the Yankees but was not drafted.
    Rivera underwent surgery in August 1992 to repair the damage, ending his season and interrupting his minor league career.
    More Details Hide Details Contrary to popular belief, he did not have Tommy John surgery; his surgeon, Dr. Frank Jobe, determined that ligament replacement was not necessary and was instead able to repair the frayed UCL.
    In 1992, Rivera was promoted to the Class A-Advanced level Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League (FSL).
    More Details Hide Details He started 10 games for Fort Lauderdale, compiling a 5–3 win–loss record and a 2.28 ERA. He attempted to improve the movement on his slider pitch by snapping his wrist during his throwing motion, but he inadvertently caused damage to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.
  • 1991
    Age 21
    Rivera and his wife Clara have known each other since elementary school, and they were married on November 9, 1991.
    More Details Hide Details They have three sons: Mariano III, Jafet, and Jaziel. The family lived in Panama until 2000, when they relocated to Westchester County, New York; they currently reside in Rye, New York. Mariano III pitched for Iona College in New Rochelle, not far from his home.
    In 1991, Mariano was promoted to the Class A level Greensboro Hornets of the South Atlantic League, where he started 15 of the 29 games he pitched in.
    More Details Hide Details Despite a 4–9 win–loss record, he recorded a 2.75 ERA in innings pitched and struck out 123 batters while walking 36 batters. New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter took notice of Rivera's strong strikeout-to-walk ratio, calling it "impressive in any league" and saying, "This guy is going to make it."
  • 1990
    Age 20
    At that point in his career, scouts considered Rivera to be a "fringe prospect" at best, but he made progress with a strong 1990 season for the GCL Yankees.
    More Details Hide Details Pitching mostly in relief, he allowed only 24 baserunners and one earned run in 52 innings pitched—a .17 earned run average (ERA). The team permitted Rivera to start the season's final game in order for him to accumulate enough innings pitched to qualify for the league's ERA title (which carried a $500 bonus); his subsequent seven-inning no-hitter "put him on the map with the organization", according to manager Glenn Sherlock. In the offseason, Rivera returned to Panama, where a tip from him to Raybourn led to the Yankees signing a promising local 16-year-old player, Rivera's cousin Rubén.
    Rivera was signed by the Yankees organization in Panama in 1990, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details Initially a starting pitcher, he was converted to a relief pitcher late in his rookie year. After a breakthrough season in 1996 as a setup man, he became the Yankees' closer in 1997. In the following seasons, he established himself as one of baseball's top relievers, leading the major leagues in saves in 1999, 2001, and 2004. Rivera primarily threw a sharp-moving, mid-90s mile-per-hour cut fastball that frequently broke hitters' bats and earned a reputation as one of the league's toughest pitches to hit. With his presence at the end of games, signaled by his foreboding entrance song "Enter Sandman", Rivera was a key contributor to the Yankees' success in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • 1988
    Age 18
    In 1988, Rivera joined Panamá Oeste, a local amateur baseball team, as their shortstop.
    More Details Hide Details Scout Herb Raybourn watched him play in a baseball tournament but did not project him to be a major league shortstop. A year later, Panamá Oeste's pitcher performed so poorly in a playoff game that Rivera was asked to replace him, and despite no experience at the position, he pitched well. Teammates Claudino Hernández and Emilio Gáez consequently contacted Chico Heron, a scout for the New York Yankees. Two weeks after his pitching debut, Rivera was invited to a Yankees tryout camp run by Heron in Panama City. Raybourn, who had returned to Panama to scout as the Yankees' director of Latin American operations, received a tip about Rivera. Raybourn was surprised to hear he had switched positions but decided to watch him throw. Although Rivera had no formal pitching training, weighed just, and threw only, Raybourn was impressed by his athleticism and smooth, effortless pitching motion.
  • 1969
    Mariano Rivera was born in Panama City, Panama, on November 29, 1969, to Mariano Rivera Palacios and Delia Jiron.
    More Details Hide Details The couple's second child, Rivera has one older sister, Delia, and two younger brothers, Alvaro and Giraldo. Supported by Mariano, Sr.'s job as captain of a fishing boat, the family lived in Puerto Caimito, a Panamanian fishing village that Rivera described as "poor". As a young man, Rivera played soccer and baseball with his friends on the beach during low tide. Soccer was his favorite sport, while his favorite athlete was Pelé. For baseball games, they substituted cardboard milk cartons for gloves and tree branches for bats, and they fashioned balls by taping worn-out baseballs and wads of shredded fishing nets. Rivera used this makeshift equipment until his father bought him his first leather glove when he was 12 years old. Speaking about his youth, Rivera said that although he stayed out of trouble, he "was hanging with the wrong people".
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