As if there was any question about it. Mariano Rivera is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Not just any first ballot Hall of Famer though, Mo becomes the first one to be voted in unanimously. He received 100% of the votes, every single person in the Baseball Writers Association of America checked the box for Mo. A couple of writers talked about how they might leave him off their ballots which is asinine to me but they clearly had a change of heart. Leave it up to Mo to officially close out his career with baseball with one more perfect outing, how fitting.
Mariano Rivera will go down as easily the most dominant closing pitcher of all time. There is no question about it, he was an absolute freak of nature. He finished his storied career with a record 652 saves. an ERA of 2.21 and 1173 strikeouts. What makes all that even more impressive is that he did majority of this with one pitch. His legendary cutter. Easily one of the most dominant pitches in the history of the sport. Didn’t matter if you were a righty or lefty, you weren’t hitting it. You could anticipate it all you want, it was either you were going to swing through it or Mo was going to turn your bat into kindling. Just ask the Twins who made a legit chair out of all the bats Twins players had broken courtesy of Rivera.
As good as he was in the regular season, he was even better when it mattered the most and that’s in the postseason. In 96 playoff games played, Mo had an ERA of 0.70…. That is seriously unbelievable. It’s downright scary. More people have walked on the moon. THE MOON! Then people who have scored a run on Rivera in the postseason. That is one of the most absurd things I have ever seen in my life. He also compiled 42 saves throughout his postseason career. He is without question the greatest of all time. He recorded the final out in route to 4 World Series championships. Only player to have that stat under his belt as well. Didn’t matter what the stage was, where the game was played or who was at the plate. Mariano Rivera absolutely dominated.
It honestly unbelievable to think I was luckily enough to grow up and watch his whole career unfold. I am truly grateful that I was able to witness all 19 years of Mo. In person, on television, even when I had to listen to games on the radio at times. I will be able to say I saw this man, this freak pitch with my own two eyes. Thank you Mariano Rivera for everything, the championships, the incredible moments, the genuine good human being you are. A true role model. Congratulations on being a Hall Of Famer and thank you for making me think of your iconic jog from the bullpen to the mound every single time I hear Enter Sandman by Metallica. I will never be able to disconnect that song from Mariano Rivera. They will forever be intertwined.And it will forever gives me chills until the day I die. Truly iconic.