Watch Mariano Rivera Dominate as a Starting Pitcher Way Back in 1995

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Watch Mariano Rivera Dominate as a Starting Pitcher Way Back in 1995
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer in baseball history.

However, had it not been for the New York Yankees moving Rivera to the bullpen in 1995, we might not have ever seen Rivera become what he is today.

Originally a starter when he came up, Rivera made 10 starts that year and had an abysmal 5.94 ERA and 1.680 WHIP.

He did have some flashes of brilliance during a start against the Chicago White Sox, though:

His eight-inning, 11-strikeout performance against the White Sox will go down as his best start, but it's largely forgotten because of a game log like this:

1995 Mariano Rivera Game Log as Starter
Date Opponent IP H ER SO BB
May 23 at California 3.1 8 5 5 3
May 28 at Oakland 5.1 7 1 1 3
June 6 vs. Oakland 4.0 7 7 3 1
June 11 vs. Seattle 2.1 7 4 0 1
July 4 at Chicago 8.0 2 0 11 4
July 9 at Texas 6.0 6 3 2 0
July 16 vs. Minnesota 6.0 6 1 5 1
July 26 at Kansas City 5.0 7 3 3 1
Aug. 10 vs. Cleveland 5.2 7 4 3 3
Sept. 5 vs. Seattle 4.1 7 5 5 3

He did go 3-3 in those starts, which isn't all that bad, but it was clear then that his future wasn't as a starter.

Now, compare the mechanics and the movement with this video, which is a compilation of his highlights as a reliever:

Rivera clearly has had great mechanics for a reliever during his career. Not to mention, he could just rear back with all he had, instead of saving energy for later innings.

While he did struggle in most of his starts, the 11-strikeout performance showed that Rivera could be something one day. I just don't think the Yankees actually knew what that would be.

Then again, I don't think anyone saw him having the type of career he has after seeing the way it all began.

Could you imagine the Yankees without Rivera? Would they have won five World Series?

It's a good thing we'll never have to know the answer to that question.

Follow New York Yankees from B/R on Facebook

Follow New York Yankees from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

New York Yankees

Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.