91 Facts About Mariano Rivera


Mariano Rivera won five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards, and he finished in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young Award four times.

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Mariano Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2019 in his first year of eligibility, and was the first and to date only player ever to be elected unanimously by the Baseball Writers' Association of America .

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Mariano Rivera debuted in the major leagues in 1995 as a starting pitcher, before permanently converting to a relief pitcher late in his rookie year.

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Mariano Rivera primarily threw a sharp-moving, mid-90s mile-per-hour cut fastball that frequently broke hitters' bats and earned a reputation as one of the league's toughest pitches to hit.

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Mariano Rivera is regarded as one of the most dominant relievers in major league history.

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Mariano Rivera has one older sister, Delia, and two younger brothers, Alvaro and Giraldo.

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Mariano Rivera used this makeshift equipment until his father bought him his first leather glove when he was 12 years old.

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Mariano Rivera attended Escuela Victoriano Chacon for elementary school and La Escuela Secundaria Pedro Pablo Sanchez for his secondary education, but he dropped out in ninth grade.

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Mariano Rivera, who worked six-day weeks, year round, called the job "extremely hard" and was more interested in becoming a mechanic.

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Mariano Rivera spent three years learning the fishing trade, saving the money he earned in hopes of opening an automobile repair shop.

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About a year later, at age 19, Mariano Rivera was forced to abandon his father's ship after it began capsizing due to a malfunctioning water pump and an overweight load of fish.

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Mariano Rivera continued to play sports during his teenage years but eventually quit soccer around age 17 after a series of ankle and knee injuries.

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At age 18, Mariano Rivera joined the Panama Oeste Vaqueros, a local amateur baseball team, as a utility player.

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Two weeks after his pitching debut, Mariano Rivera was invited to a Yankees tryout camp run by Heron in Panama City.

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At that point in his career, scouts considered Mariano Rivera to be a "fringe prospect" at best, but he made progress with a strong 1990 season for the GCL Yankees.

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In 1991, Mariano Rivera was promoted to the Class A level Greensboro Hornets of the South Atlantic League, where he started 15 of the 29 games in which he pitched.

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In 1992, Mariano Rivera was promoted to the Class A-Advanced level Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League but missed the first third of the season with elbow stiffness.

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Ultimately, Mariano Rivera was sidelined again after suffering damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

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Mariano Rivera was left unprotected by the Yankees in MLB's 1992 expansion draft, which filled the rosters for two expansion teams, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.

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Mariano Rivera began the 1994 season with the Class A-Advanced level Tampa Yankees of the FSL.

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At the start of the 1995 season, he was ranked the ninth-best prospect in the Yankees organization by sports magazine Baseball America; by contrast, Mariano Rivera's highly touted cousin Ruben was ranked the second-best prospect in the entire sport.

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Mariano Rivera struggled through his first four major-league starts, posting a 10.

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Mariano Rivera was nearly traded prior to the 1996 season to address the Yankees' depleted depth at the shortstop position.

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In 1996, Mariano Rivera served primarily as a setup pitcher, typically pitching in the seventh and eighth innings of games before closer John Wetteland pitched in the ninth.

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In MLB's annual awards voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Mariano Rivera finished in twelfth place for the American League Most Valuable Player Award and third for the AL Cy Young Award, which is given to the league's best pitcher.

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Commentator and former player Tim McCarver wrote that the Yankees "revolutionized baseball" that year with Mariano Rivera, "a middle reliever who should have been on the All-Star team and who was a legitimate MVP candidate".

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That year, Mariano Rivera made the cutter one of his primary pitches, and it quickly became his signature, earning a reputation for breaking hitters' bats with its sharp lateral movement.

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Mariano Rivera received his first AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, which was given annually to the league's best closer based on their statistics.

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Mariano Rivera slumped early in the second half; over one stretch, he blew five of eleven save opportunities, but he rebounded to convert his final 15 opportunities of the season.

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Mariano Rivera became the winning pitcher after Aaron Boone hit an eleventh-inning walk-off home run that clinched the Yankees' series victory and advanced them to the 2003 World Series.

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Mariano Rivera celebrated by running to the pitcher's mound and collapsing in joy to thank God, as Boone rounded the bases and was met by his teammates at home plate.

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Mariano Rivera was named the AL Championship Series MVP for recording two saves and a win in the series.

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In Game 5, Mariano Rivera entered with a one-run lead with runners on base and allowed a sacrifice fly to tie the score.

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Mariano Rivera was cheered by Red Sox fans during pre-game introductions at Fenway Park the following week, in recognition of his struggles against the Red Sox.

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Mariano Rivera responded to the ovation with a sense of humor by tipping his cap to the crowd.

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Mariano Rivera was selected to his third consecutive All-Star team with a 1.

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Mariano Rivera saved the AL's comeback victory in the All-Star Game for his third career All-Star save, tying him with Eckersley for the most ever.

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Mariano Rivera initially indicated that his decision of where to sign would be influenced by whether long-time manager Joe Torre was re-signed.

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Mariano Rivera instead was used as a reliever in the AL's extra-inning win.

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Mariano Rivera's save in the All-Star Game was his fourth career All-Star save, setting a new record.

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Mariano Rivera was the only closer who did not record a loss or blown save that postseason.

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Mariano Rivera collected several awards at season's end, including his third Delivery Man of the Year Award, his fifth AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, and the 2009 Sporting News Pro Athlete of the Year Award.

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Mariano Rivera earned an 11th All-Star selection but withdrew from the game due to lingering oblique and knee injuries.

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Mariano Rivera began the 2012 season by blowing a save on Opening Day but followed it with eight scoreless innings and five saves for the remainder of April.

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Mariano Rivera retired all three batters he faced, preserving his 0.

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Mariano Rivera was named the All-Star Game MVP, making him the first reliever selected to an All-Star team to ever receive the award, as well as the first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 and the second Yankee ever after Derek Jeter in 2000.

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Mariano Rivera became the first MLB player to be named the MVP of a World Series, League Championship Series, and All-Star Game.

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Mariano Rivera's performance dipped in the second half of the season, as he blew five save opportunities in the last two months, including three consecutive chances for the first time in his career.

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Mariano Rivera's signature pitch was a cut fastball or "cutter", which exhibited lateral movement towards left-handed hitters similar to that of a slider but with the velocity of a fastball.

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The sharp, late movement of Mariano Rivera's cutter prevented hitters from making contact with the ball on the sweet spot of their bats, leading to them not only making weak contact on batted balls but frequently breaking their bats.

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Mariano Rivera altered his pitching style after accidentally discovering the cutter.

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One day in June 1997 during one of his daily warm-up tosses with teammate Ramiro Mendoza, Mariano Rivera noticed that his fastballs were moving sharply and unpredictably, a problem that began to occur in games as well.

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Mariano Rivera credited his improved efficiency and consequent longevity in baseball to his long-time pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.

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Mariano Rivera had an impeccable ability to accurately locate pitches and consistently throw strikes, particularly on the inside and outside edges of the strike zone.

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Mariano Rivera's control was a byproduct of his smooth, easily repeated pitching motion, one that Darrin Fletcher found deceptive as an opposing hitter.

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Defying conventional wisdom of lefty-righty matchups, switch hitters occasionally batted right-handed when facing the right-handed Mariano Rivera, believing that his cutter would jam a batter hitting left-handed.

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Similarly, some managers, such as Bruce Bochy in the 1998 World Series, sent right-handed batters to pinch hit for left-handers against Mariano Rivera, thinking that the cutter would be more difficult for lefties to hit.

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Mariano Rivera was considered an exceptional athlete, distinguished by his slender physique and durability.

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Mariano Rivera exhibited a reserved demeanor on the field that contrasted with the emotional, demonstrative temperament of many of his peers.

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Mariano Rivera had a team-first mindset and deferred most discussions about individual accolades to team goals and his teammates, praising them for making his presence in games possible.

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Mariano Rivera was a dominant reliever throughout his career, pitching with a consistency and longevity uncharacteristic of a role commonly marked by volatility and high turnover.

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Mariano Rivera holds or shares several records for the most seasons of reaching various save milestones, including seasons with at least: 20 saves ; 25 saves ; 30 saves ; 35 saves ; 40 saves ; and 50 saves .

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Mariano Rivera saved more than twice as many postseason games as any other pitcher; Kenley Jansen, with 19, has the next-highest total.

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Mariano Rivera achieved a reputation as an all-time great reliever among baseball experts and his peers.

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Mariano Rivera would start affecting teams as early as the fifth inning, because they knew he was out there.

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I've always been proud and pleased that Mariano Rivera was the one chosen to wear that number because I think he brought something special to it.

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Mariano Rivera's cut fastball was a respected pitch among major-league players.

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Mariano Rivera III pitched for Iona College in New Rochelle, not far from his home.

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Mariano Rivera was drafted by the Yankees with the 872nd pick in the 2014 MLB draft, but decided to return to Iona for his junior year.

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Mariano Rivera is a proponent of Latino players learning English and of American press members learning Spanish to bridge the cultural gap.

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Mariano Rivera encouraged immigrants to the United States to make learning English their top priority.

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Mariano Rivera became a naturalized citizen of the United States in October 2015 and was recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice during the ceremony.

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In February 2019, a Panamanian woman accused Mariano Rivera of failing to financially support her two children, a boy and a girl then aged 11 and 15, that Mariano Rivera had allegedly fathered out of wedlock.

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Mariano Rivera's parents followed his lead after seeing the difference it made in him.

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Mariano Rivera believes that God has a reason for everything that happens.

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Years, the Mariano Rivera Foundation was a private institution, but during his final baseball season in 2013, many teams wanted to commemorate the pitcher by donating to his foundation.

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Since retiring from baseball, Mariano Rivera has dedicated himself to philanthropy and his churches.

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Recently, Mariano Rivera has organized an annual charity golf tournament that benefits White Plains Hospital and his foundation.

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Mariano Rivera won the 2013 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to the MLB player "who inspires others through his on-field performances and contributions to his community".

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Mariano Rivera was an investor in two New York area restaurants: "Clubhouse Grill", which opened in New Rochelle in 2006 as "Mo's New York Grill"; and Siro's, which opened in Manhattan in 2012.

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Mariano Rivera has been a celebrity spokesman for several companies, including: Nike sports apparel; Canali, a premium men's clothing company, as their first athlete spokesperson; the New York Acura Dealers; Skechers footwear; and The Hartford Financial Services Group.

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Mariano Rivera donated all his earnings from endorsement deals to his foundation.

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Mariano Rivera attended the Christians United for Israel conference in July 2019.

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Mariano Rivera served on the Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission formed by US President Donald Trump in March 2017.

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Mariano Rivera was appointed to a second two-year term on the council in December 2020.

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Mariano Rivera was removed from the co-chair position in April 2022, but remains a member of the council.

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In March 2014, Mariano Rivera was twice recognized for his philanthropic efforts, receiving the ROBIE Humanitarian Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, as well as a Jefferson Award for Public Service.

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Mariano Rivera helped promote the games, which were accompanied by charitable events and a gala benefiting his foundation.

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Mariano Rivera became the first player in history to be elected unanimously by the BBWAA, appearing on all 425 ballots; the previous record for election percentage was held by Ken Griffey Jr.

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Mariano Rivera was the second Panamanian player to be elected to the Hall of Fame after Rod Carew, and the eighth relief pitcher.

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The United States proudly honors Mariano Rivera for being a legend of the game of baseball and for his commitment to strengthening America's communities.

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