You don’t have to like the New York Yankees, but how can you not respect Mariano Rivera?
He has spent nearly one-half of his life beating everyone in sight — with one pitch, a cutter. Rivera pitched 19 major league seasons and recorded more saves than anyone in MLB (652). Rivera led the Yankees march to the World Series seven times (winning five times). He pitched in the post-season 16 times and was selected to the All-Star team 13 times … again, with one pitch.
More importantly than wins and losses or statistics, Rivera won with grace; he lost, rarely, with great dignity. After his final game in New York, No. 42 walked out to the Yankee Stadium pitchers mound one more time. He scratched at the rubber with his right foot, tipped his cap, soaked in the cheers, then he dropped to one knee and scooped up a handful of dirt before leaving the field.Rivera will leave behind his pinstripes and a trunk full of baseball memories.