Mariano Rivera born November 29, 1969 is a Panamanian right-handed baseball pitcher who has spent his entire 16-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with 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. An 11-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, Rivera has accumulated 559 saves, the second-most in MLB history, and has won the American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Award five times.
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 as a starting pitcher. Upon converting to a relief pitcher, he found success, first as a setup man in 1996, and then as the Yankees' closer after assuming the role in 1997. In the years following, he established himself as one of the league's top relievers, leading the Major Leagues in saves in 1999, 2001, and 2004. His presence in the late innings of games to record the final outs has played an instrumental role in the Yankees' success, particularly the team's late 1990s dynasty. 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 as one of the greatest closers in baseball history. In contrast to the volatility and effusiveness that typifies the closer role, Rivera is noted for his consistency and calm, placid demeanor. He is recognized as an exceptional postseason performer, and he holds Major League postseason records for saves and earned run average (ERA), among other records. Baseball writers expect Rivera will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame upon retirement.[ intends to work in philanthropy after his baseball career.
1 Early life
2 Professional baseball career
2.1 Minor leagues (1990–1995)
2.2 Major leagues (1995–present)
3 Player profile
5 Personal life
6 Career highlights
6.1 Awards and honors
6.3 Other accomplishments
7 See also
9 External links
Rivera was born in Panama City, Panama, on November 29, 1969, to Mariano, Sr. and Delia Rivera. His father worked as a ship captain in the fishing industry. Rivera has one older sister, Delia, and two younger brothers, Alvaro and Giraldo. He grew up in the Panamanian fishing village of Puerto Caimito—a town he described as "poor"—frequently playing soccer with his friends. They also played baseball in the streets by substituting milk cartons for gloves and tree branches for bats, and by fashioning balls by taping wads of shredded fishing nets and beat-up baseballs with electrical tape. Rivera used this makeshift equipment until his father bought him his first leather glove when he was 12 years old. He thought of baseball as a hobby and did not seriously consider playing professionally. While attending Pablo Sanchez High School, Rivera played soccer, but his aspirations of becoming a professional player ended after a series of ankle injuries. After graduating high school at age 16, he worked six-day weeks on a commercial boat on which his father was captain, catching shrimp and sardines. Rivera did not consider taking up the profession as an adult, though, as he thought the job was "way too tough", and he wanted to become a mechanic. As a 19-year-old, he had to abandon a capsizing 120-short-ton (110 t) commercial boat, all but convincing him to give up fishing as a career.
In 1988, Rivera began to play baseball as a shortstop for Panamá Oeste, an amateur team that represented his local district. in Rivera but did not project him to be a Major League shortstop A year later, Panamá Oeste's pitcher performed so poorly that Rivera volunteered to pitch. He excelled at the position, prompting his teammates to contact Yankees scout Chico Heron. Two weeks later, Rivera was invited to a Yankees tryout camp in Panama City where Raybourn was visiting. Raybourn was surprised to find Rivera pitching at the camp, since scouts passed on him as a shortstop a year prior. Rivera had no formal pitching training and threw only 85–87 miles per hour (137–140 kilometres per hour), Raybourn was impressed by Rivera's athleticism and smooth pitching motion, along with the ease with which he threw. Rivera as a raw talent, Raybourn signed the amateur free agent to a contract with a US$3,000 signing bonus ($5,042 in current dollar terms) on February 17, 1990.