a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees. Born in Panama City, Panama, his rookie season in the Major Leagues was 1995, in which he made a limited number of appearances. In 1996, he served primarily as a set-up man for the closer John Wetteland. During that season, if the Yankees were leading after six innings, they were nearly assured of victory due to the stellar pitching of both relievers. Despite playing in a position that rarely gets respect, Rivera still managed to come in third for the Cy Young voting, behind twenty-game winners Pat Hentgen and teammate Andy Pettitte, respectively.
When Wetteland left the team following that season (in which they won the World Series), Rivera became the Yankees' closer and has remained so ever since. He has been perhaps the most consistent, dependable relief pitcher in the Major Leagues during his tenure as a closer for the Yankees. Rivera has been especially overpowering in the postseason, in which his lifetime earned run average, under 1 run per nine innings pitched, is among the best ever. His contribution to the general success of the Yankees since 1996, including four World Series championships, has been significant. However, in recent years his postseason performance has been a little less consistent, particularly in the 2001 World Series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the infamous 2004 playoff collapse against the Boston Red Sox. His troubles with the Red Sox (although he continues to dominate against other teams) have continued, and during his introduction at the Red Sox opening day, he was lampooned with a standing ovation while his teammates were booed. To his credit, Rivera took the treatment with good humor and tipped his hat to the Red Sox fans.
Rivera has won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award three times, in 1999, 2001, and 2004. He donated his 2001 trophy to the New York City Fire Department. It is on permanent display at the FDNY's Brooklyn headquarters. He won the World Series MVP Award in 1999, when which the Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves in four games and Rivera earned two saves.
Rivera's demeanor on the mound is very serious. His best pitches are his four-seam fastball and his cutter, which has been called the best pitch in baseball for a long time. On a per-batter basis, he probably breaks more bats than any other current pitcher, caused by jamming them with the fastball.
As Rivera enters a game in Yankee Stadium, the song "Enter Sandman" by Metallica is played on the loudspeaker system.
His uniform number is 42, which has been retired by all Major League Baseball teams since 1997 in honor of Jackie Robinson. However, Rivera is permitted to use the number due to a grandfather clause.
Enter the Sandman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Arguably the best closer in baseball of all-time. Has been a pitcher on the New York Yankees his whole career, which is now 10 years. He is a.k.a Mr. Automatic because when he comes into a game with a lead, the game is over. He has pitched in 586 games and 728.1 innings. He has 336 saves and a 2.43 ERA (Earned Run Average).
"He's (Mariano Rivera) the best I've ever been around. Not only the ability to pitch and perform under pressure, but the calm he puts over the clubhouse. He's very important for us because he's a special person."-Yankees Manager Joe Torre
The greatest closer in baseball history. Period. End of Story.
Dude #1: Mariano Rivera
Dude #2: The dude that blew a world series by throwing a ball into center field?
Dude #1: Yeah, the dude that has the lowest career post season average, 500+ saves, the lowest career era among relief pitchers and the most saves in post season and world series history.
Dude #2: Damn.