Before the start of Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, the greatest closer of all time was presented with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. What a way to end a Hall of Fame career. Mariano Rivera played 19 seasons, pitching for the New York Yankees the entire time. Why did he receive this great award?
No one can deny the pure, natural talent Rivera had as a pitcher. From his fastball to his cutter, batters had trouble hitting against him. Even after years of facing him, he still dominated the strike zone. Rivera received the award for his achievement in recording the most saves in Major League Baseball history. He originally was a starting pitcher but was pushed into the bullpen, starting as a relief pitcher and making his way to the closing spot. That was probably the best thing the Yankees could have done for him. Every time he stepped onto the field at Yankee Stadium, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” playing in the background, opposing teams knew they were in trouble. This became the trademark of Rivera that can never be matched again.
Rivera has already been inducted into Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, included within the company of players such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and many more. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind he will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame when he is qualified to be placed on the ballot. No matter what team or players you support, you should stand and applaud to the one and only Mariano Rivera for his unbelievable baseball career.