Yet, the fact that there will be no one like him becomes more evident every year.
Relievers are extremely volatile by definition: save from a few exceptions, their performance can greatly vary from year to year.
Not Mariano, though.
He retired with an insane 2.21 career ERA and 652 saves, which is still an MLB record.
On this day, but back in 2011, he made history by getting his 600th save.
“11 years ago today, Mariano Rivera became the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to reach 600 career saves (via @baseballhall),” FOX Sports MLB tweeted.
11 years ago today, Mariano Rivera became the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to reach 600 career saves 🔥
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 13, 2022
The San Diego Padres’ Trevor Hoffman is the only other closer with at least 600 saves: he retired with 601.
Lee Smith is third on the all-time list with 478 saves.
Baseball Hasn’t Seen Someone Like Rivera
Rivera’s career is not only full of regular season records, but he also has a boatload of postseason records.
He is, without a doubt, the most consistently dominant reliever in the history of the game.
But Rivera rarely got injured, and always delivered.
Even Luis Gonzalez‘s game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with Arizona against Rivera came on a poorly hit ball.
It’s not a coincidence that Rivera became the first, and so far only major leaguer to enter the Hall of Fame unanimously.
He is on a tier of his own: fans from every team are able to recognize his greatness.
A true gentleman of the game, Rivera made the headlines exactly 11 years ago.
He will never be forgotten.