After 18 years of dominating the American League the MLB‘s greatest closer will be retiring after the 2013 season. Once Mariano Rivera is done with baseball, constant questions about his legacy are going to surface. Although he was a closer, I still feel he was a crucial part to the New York Yankees success throughout his tenure.
Only two players in the history of the MLB have eclipsed 600 saves and Rivera leads all closers with 607–expect this mark to increase even more as Rivera is healthy and rearing to go for 2013. Rivera’s 2012 season was cut short due to a torn ACL suffered in batting practice versus the Kansas City Royals in May. His return is incredibly admirable as it would’ve been much easier for the 42-year-old to call it a quits this time last year.
His durability is something the Yankees have grown accustomed to as they have had Rivera closing games for the team for nearly two decades with little to no problems. In fact, he has led the league in saves three times and maintained an ERA under 2.00 for 11 of his astounding 18 seasons. When Rivera finally hits the road and is enshrined at the MLB Hall-of-Fame the consensus will be that he was the best closer of all time, but I think he deserves more of a larger accolade than that.
Rivera should go down as the best pitcher to ever wear a Yankees uniform. Although the club has had aces in the past the team still hasn’t had anyone make the kind of impact that the 43-year-old Panana native has made. Whitey Ford is the only competition as he won 236 games for the team, however I think Rivera deserves the honor more than a guy who is just 10-8 in postseason play. Rivera made the playoffs his safe-haven with a 8-1 record and an impeccable .70 ERA.