Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, referred to as “one of the most prominent closers in baseball history” according to beyond the box scores website, has become the first ever Major League Baseball player to be unanimously voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On Tuesday January 21st 2019, Rivera was voted in by the Cooperstown Hall of Fame council, receiving 425 votes unanimously by all 10 members.
Rivera began his career with the Yankees at 25 years old, and played with them for 19 consecutive seasons. During his career with the Yankees, Rivera held a record breaking 652 saves, surpassing the 400 saves closing pitchers club by a landslide. He also left the major leagues with a 2.21 ERA (Earned Run Average), and allowed only 2 earned runs in 35 postseason innings pitched.
Rivera has won 5 World Series Championships with the Yankees, which ties him for the 5th most Championships of all time and the most by any All Star closer.
In Order to be elected into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, a Major League Player must meet the criteria that all Hall of Fame requires. For starters, the players must “have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning fifteen (15) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election,” according to the BBWA (Baseball Writers Association of America) election rules website stated. In addition, they also must have played in at least 10 championship seasons. Rivera surpasses all of these requirements by a landslide, which resulted in his unanimous nomination.
Mariano Rivera’s career has become a milestone in major league baseball history as a 13 time all-star and a 5-time top AL (American League) reliever award.
His career is considered the best of any relief pitcher to ever play baseball, deeming him the infamous “GOAT” title by many other professionals and major league coach staff.
He retired as a legend in both Yankee and Major League Baseball history, and was also the last player to wear the number “42”.