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Rivera, Mariano (1969–)

Rivera, Mariano (1969–)

One day, the right-handed relief pitcher Mariano "Mo" Rivera will likely join Rodney Carew as the only Panamanians in Cooperstown, New York's Baseball Hall of Fame. The son of a fisherman, Rivera played baseball on the streets of Panama City with a cardboard glove till age ten. He showed enough talent playing with the Panamá Oeste team to sign with the New York Yankees in 1990. After his Major League debut as a Yankee in 1995, he moved from starter to set-up man to closer by 1997. Since then, relying on his dominant cut fastball, he has established himself in many minds as the greatest closer in Major League history and the best pitcher in the history of postseason baseball.

These claims reflect his statistics and many awards through the 2006 season: fourth all-time in career saves (413), lowest career earned run average (ERA) of closers in top fifty of career saves (2.29), most postseason saves of all-time (34), lowest postseason ERA of all-time (0.80), most appearances in postseason history (72), most saves in World Series play (9), only player named American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player (2003) and World Series Most Valuable Player (1999), eight-time All-Star, and record for converting twenty-three consecutive postseason saves. For this, he has won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award four times, the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award twice, the Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award five times, MLB.com's Closer of the Year Award three times, and New York Yankee Player of the Year once (2005). When summoned, he strolls to the mound to the heavy-metal band Metallica's "Enter Sandman," the source of another of his nicknames.

See alsoSports .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kernan, Kevin, ed. Mariano Rivera: Panama Express. Topeka, KS: Tandem Library, 2000.

Mondore, Scot E. "Mariano Rivera." In Latino and African American Athletes Today: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by David L. Porter. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Russo, Christopher, and Allen St. John. The Mad Dog Hall of Fame: The Ultimate Top Ten Rankings of the Best in Sports. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

                                        Joseph L. Arbena

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