Mariano Rivera announced on late last week that he will retire at the end of the 2013 season. A walk away year, the same as what Chipper Jones did last year, a year long season to tell the legend and future hall of famer “thank you” from all teams and cities. The man who holds many MLB records will say goodbye at the age of 43.
The career leader in saves actually only recored one save in the minor leagues. He began his career as a starting pitcher and had 27 wins in the minors. Being called up to the big leagues in 1995, he started 10 games on the mound for the Yankees. Not recording his first save until May 17th 1996, versus then California Angels, Mariano went on to record 608 saves (and still counting).
Rivera has been the most dominating closing pitcher that baseball has ever seen but it was what he did in the post season that most impresses me. Mariano has pitched 141 innings in the post season and has only given up 11 earned runs. There has been 12 men to walk on the moon (that we have record of) meaning Rivera has given up less runs in the post season then men that have walked on the moon. Amazing!
In his 18 years of service he has been rewarded with 12 All-Star appearances. Rivera and the Yankees have achieved greatness five times in 1996, 1998, 1999 (UGH!), 2000 and 2009.
It seems relevant that Rivera’s press conference announcing his retirement and his first game of his last season was against the Braves. Could this be a sign of the greatest closer of all time passing the torch to the next greatest, Craig Kimbrel? I hope so!
Chipper Jones said it best with a tweet sent out Saturday afternoon “Tip of the cap to the best closer of all time and one of the best pitchers I ever faced! Mo Rivera is a great guy and ambassador of the game”
Many tweets honoring the closer have passed through, here are a sample of whats being said.
Sure wish Mariano Rivera decided to retire TODAY instead of at the end of the season. Lol
The greatest moment of my career and Mariano Rivera was right there! Congrats Mo, it’s an honor playing with you!pic.twitter.com/TdC7gQolvn
Mariano Rivera is the best ever at what he does. It will be a long time before someone comes along that is better, so consistent.
Best ERA of all pitchers w/ at least 140 IP in the postseason: Rivera(0.70) Smoltz (2.67) Ford (2.71) Maddux (3.27) Glavine (3.30)