Mariano Rivera is the New All-Time MLB Saves Leader
After pitching a perfect ninth inning, Mariano Rivera stood on the mound at Yankees Stadium and blew a kiss to the cheering crowd of 40,045 fans -- the smallest in the stadium's three year history.
Rivera, shutting the door on his New York Yankees’ 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins, became the new all-time saves leader after recording his 602nd career save on Monday. The 41-year-old closer put down Trevor Plouffe, Michael Cuddyer, and Chris Parmelee in order to snap Trevor Hoffman’s mark set before his retirement last season.
Fans were so pumped to see Rivera take the hill that they even cheered when Nick Swisher grounded into a double play to end the eighth. Those in attendance witnessed history at the ballpark for a second time this season since Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit back in July.
Congratulations Mo. For whatever reason, no one can figure out your signature cutter, even though it's pretty much the only pitch in your repertoire. As Cuddyer said post-game, "It’s amazing... You’ve got a 99 percent chance of knowing what’s coming, and he still is able to go out there and dominate."
Hoffman had these nice things to say in a statement prepared for Rivera:
“I want to congratulate Mariano Rivera on setting the all-time saves record. It’s a great accomplishment and he is still going strong! I have tremendous respect for Mariano not just for his on-field accomplishments, but also for his service to the community.”
Also, MLB and Nike have created an awesome t-shirt using a play on Bo Jackson's old motto to commemorate his accomplishment. Mo Knows Saves.