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Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera in a gray baseball uniform and navy blue cap stands on a dirt mound. He is striding forward to the right as he clutches a baseball behind his head. His uniform reads "New York" in navy blue letters across the chest. His face is contorted in concentration.
Rivera pitching for the New York Yankees in 2007
MLB Player information
NameMariano Rivera
PositionRelief pitcher
MLB debutMay 23, 1995 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Win loss record75 57
Earned run average2.21
*New York Yankees (1995 present)
*12× All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) *5× World Series champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009) *5× AL Rolaids Relief Man Award (1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009) *3× Delivery Man of the Year Award (2005, 2006, 2009) *1999 World Series MVP Award *2003 AL Championship Series MVP Award *All-time leader in regular season saves (603) *All-time leader in postseason saves (42) *All-time leader in games finished (883)

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Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969) is a Panamanian right-handed baseball pitcher who has played 17 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees. Nicknamed "Mo", Rivera has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees' closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's all-time leader in saves (603) and games finished (883). His accolades include winning the American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Award five times, the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP Award.

Rivera was signed by the Yankees organization in 1990 as an amateur free agent in Panama, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995. Initially a starting pitcher, he struggled in the role and was consequently converted to a relief pitcher. After a breakthrough season in 1996 as a setup man, he became the Yankees' closer in 1997. In the following years, he established himself as one of baseball's top relievers, leading the major leagues in saves in 1999, 2001, and 2004. Rivera's presence in the late innings of games to record the final outs has been instrumental to the Yankees' success in the late-1990s and 2000s, particularly in the postseason where he has set numerous records, including lowest earned run average (ERA) (0.71) and most saves (42). His pitching repertoire consists primarily of one pitch-a sharp-breaking, mid-90s mile per hour (mph) cut fastball that has been called an all-time great pitch.

Rivera is regarded by baseball experts as one of the most dominant relievers in major league history. Pitching with a longevity and consistency uncommon to the closer role, he has saved at least 25 games in a record 15 consecutive seasons and has posted an ERA under 2.50 in 13 seasons. He holds or shares over 40 records, and his career 2.21 ERA and 1.00 WHIP are the lowest marks in baseball's live-ball era. On the field, he is well-known for his reserved demeanor and composure that contrast with the effusiveness of many of his peers. Off the field, he has been involved in charitable causes and the Christian community. Sportswriters anticipate Rivera will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame upon retirement.

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