Ex-Yankee Mariano Rivera Becomes First MLB Player In History With Unanimous Hall Of Fame Election
The 49-year-old Panamanian-American — a 13-time All-Star who spent his entire 18-year career (1995-2013) with the Bombers — will join Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez as part of the Class of 2019 after receiving all 425 votes cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The MLB player who previously came closest to appearing on all Hall of Fame ballots was Ken Griffey Jr., who earned 99.32 percent of all votes in 2016.
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“I was just happy to pitch in the big leagues and play for the New York Yankees — as many championships as I could do it,” said Rivera, per MLB.com. “After my career, I was thinking: Did I have a good shot to be a Hall of Famer? This was just beyond my imagination. This is the pinnacle of every athlete or every player that played the game of baseball. Just to be considered a Hall of Famer is an honor, but being unanimous is just amazing to me.”
Throughout his career with the Yankees, Rivera amassed 652 saves and finished 952 games, both MLB records. He also helped lead the franchise to five World Series championships and was the World Series MVP in 1999, in addition to being named AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2013.
Rivera had quite a delightful and memorable reaction when he received the phone call about his Hall of Fame election. He was surrounded by his family when the big call came:
History! Mariano Rivera is officially the first player in MLB history to receive 100% of the votes! Truly remarkable experience for myself and his family! pic.twitter.com/WMrbFRsVAb
— Martino Puccio (@MartinoPuccio) January 22, 2019
If you don’t feel at least slightly happy while watching this video, then you don’t have any emotions. Seriously, the joy on those family members’ faces is contagious.
In other Yankees-related news, the team traded starting pitcher Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Gray also reportedly signed a three-year, $30.5 million extension with Cincinnati. The deal includes a one-year, $12 million option.
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