As one of the greatest relievers and closers of all-time, Mariano Rivera rightfully deserves his place in the pantheon of Major League Baseball greats. Famed for his coolness on the pitching mound and ability to close out a game, Rivera produced 19 unforgettable seasons of baseball as the closer for the elite New York Yankees. Finishing his career with 652 saves for an MLB record with an ERA of 2.21, Rivera also recorded 1,173 strikeouts during 952 games finished. The legendary “Sandman” will undoubtedly go down among the greatest ever to grace the game and upon eligible, Mariano Rivera is expected to be forever enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mariano Rivera was awarded a contract by the Yankees in 1990 and during his first season with the organization in the Gulf Coast League, he won the award for best ERA and only allowed 24 base runners in a total of 52 innings. By 1995, Rivera had progressed through the ranks while showing a great deal of promise and continuing to record fantastic strikeout rates that, as the general manager of the time Buck Showalter said, “is impressive in any league”. Mariano Rivera’s increasing skill and constant success then led to his name being called up to the big leagues by the Yankees.
Although it took a few seasons in the MLB for Rivera to prove his worth, by the 1997 season, he had helped New York win the 1996 World Series and earned his position as the designated closer for the Yankees. Throughout 1997, Rivera produced stellar statistics as a reliever and saw his first All-Star appearance, which would then be followed by another 12 appearances throughout his career. After settling into his role as closer, Mariano Rivera’s statistics steadily improved, which ultimately led to him being voted the 1999 World Series MVP as he took the Yankees to another world title.
Known for his precise control, composed demeanor, and smooth pitching motion, Mariano Rivera went on to produce a long and consistent career as a closer. Winning the World Series a grand total of five times, as well as winning five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards and the Delivery Man of the Year Award on three occasions, Rivera solidified his repertoire as one of the most dominant relievers ever to play in the MLB.
Mariano Rivera’s statistics as a closer will probably never be beaten, as he successfully saved more than 25 games in 15 consecutive seasons and had an ERA of less than 2.0 on 11 individual years. Rivera is seen as the driving force behind the appearance of the cut fastball, although most pitchers are simply unable to replicate his smooth delivery that was combined with accuracy and speed resulting in a pitch that would confuse and bewilder even the best batters time and time again.
Topping the record table for closers ever to play professional baseball, Mariano Rivera memorabilia is an absolute must-purchase for all sports collectors and MLB fans. Rivera is hands-down the greatest closer of all time, as well as the last athlete to wear the fabled number 42 and was one of the core four that made the Yankees a major MLB force in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Mo’s natural pitching motion is a skill that cannot be taught and the chances of seeing a player of Mariano Rivera’s caliber again in the future of baseball is pretty slim.
- Mariano Rivera Autographed Baseballs: Mariano Rivera made his entire career out of being able to move that baseball and put it exactly where he wanted it. Considering his legacy within the MLB and future palace in the Baseball Hall of Fame, any fan or sports collector would be proud to own a Mariano Rivera autographed baseball. A ball signed by the great man himself, represents just what he was about as a baseball player and an absolute icon of the game. Add the perfect centerpiece to your memorabilia collection or a headlining display for any man cave with a Mariano Rivera signed baseball.
- Signed Mariano Rivera Jerseys: The number 42 is the most iconic uniform number in all of sports because it was not only retired by every major league in honor of legendary Jackie Robinson, but was also worn by the great Mariano Rivera. The former pitcher will always be remembered as a class act and one of the best players in the game, so there’s no better way to honor the unforgettable Yankee than an autographed Mariano Rivera jersey. Take home a baseball relic with a Mariano Rivera signed jersey that features the classic New York pinstripes and the World Series champion’s famed number 42.
- Autographed Mariano Rivera Photos: As a man that completely changed the game of baseball, Mariano Rivera produced some of the most memorable moments in baseball history. Preserve one of the greatest Yankees legacies with a Mariano Rivera autographed photo of the retired pitcher taking the field to his famed “Enter Sandman” or while dominating the pitching mound. No matter where you loyalty lies in baseball, every MLB enthusiast respects the great Mo, so take home a piece of history with a signed Mariano Rivera photo to display proudly.