As I sit here watching the first meaningless September game in New York Yankees history since 1994, in my New York City apartment a mere 1 day after my co-hosts have recorded our 100th episode, one cannot help but realize the impact Mariano Rivera has had during his 19-year career in pinstripes.
Last nights exploits by the New York Yankees were exactly how a baseball fan would anticipate them to be. It was classy, momentous and quite depressing regardless of your team affiliation. Although this is just one man’s report on the matter, I feel that everyone who watches baseball can feel some kind of admiration for a man who has accomplished so much on the biggest stage baseball has to offer.
The Yankees are an organization based upon a winning tradition. Some may call the fans front-runners (and of course there are those fans) but many wear their replica pinstripes with pride regardless of whether the team wins or loses. Mariano Rivera was and will forever be the best closing pitcher the world has ever seen. When most closers last 3-5 seasons, he has done something no one else has: done it for an entire career (with effectively one pitch I might add).
Now, this season was momentous on many levels for the beloved ‘Mo’. Once he announced his impending retirement, opposing teams made it there mission to show him the utmost respect a man of his nature and demeanor deserves (including our rivals and current AL East Division Leader the Boston Red Sox). The opposing teams showered him in gifts ranging from the rubber from the bullpen mound to a rocking chair built from bats he shattered with his deadly cutting fastball. They presented him with checks to support his foundation with speeches that could rival that of any State of the Union address we’ve heard for the last few decades.
In the infamous comedic baseball fill called “The Sandlot”, the premier player from that film gets a visit in a dream from “The Great Bambino” (or for those of you like Smalls) the man I am referring to is George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Ruth says to Benny during the dream sequence, “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.” Those words could never be truer when it comes to Mariano Rivera. He is a legend; there will never be another player like him. If Mariano’s personality and presence doesn’t convince you maybe the numbers will:
Mariano Rivera’s Career Numbers (to date; still 3 games left in 2013 season)
- Wins/Loss: 82-60
- ERA: 2.21
- Games Pitched: 1,115
- Innings Pitched: 1,283.2
- Saves: 652
- WHIP: 1.000
- H/9: 7.0
- HR/9: 0.5
- BB/9: 2.0
- SO/9: 8.2
- SO/BB: 4.1
- 12 Time American League All-Star
- 11 Career WS Saves
- And has earned $169, 441,825 over his career
In my mind the numbers speak for themselves. No one has done what he has done and we as baseball fans will be forever grateful to have seen the best that has ever lived.
“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die…”
Mariano this is your tribute; we thank you for your time with us.
I’m Luch and I still know nothing