Mariano Rivera helped the New York Yankees win five World Series, and many consider him to be the game’s greatest closer. As such, he'll become the 37th Bronx Bomber to receive a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park this summer, according to the Associated Press.
Rivera is Major League Baseball's all-time leader with 652 regular-season saves, but his dominance in the postseason, where he holds career bests in both ERA (0.70 over 141 innings) and saves (42), was even more impressive.
Rivera closed out three of the Yankees’ five World Series-clinching wins (1998, 1999 and 2000).
Mike Foss of USA Today put Rivera's dominance into context:
More people have walked on the moon (12) than men who have scored against Mariano Rivera in the postseason (11). … Mariano Rivera has been pitching in the postseason since . The Apollo Program launched in 1963 and concluded in 1972.
In other words, Rivera has been clutch in the postseason for [eight] years longer than NASA was clutch at sending Astronauts to the moon.
The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 during his final season in 2013, marking the last time it would ever be used. MLB retired the number throughout the big leagues in 1997 to honor Jackie Robinson, though all players who were already wearing it at the time were allowed to keep it, and none lasted as long as Rivera.
The Yankees will hold the sure-fire Hall of Famer’s plaque ceremony Sunday, Aug. 14, before their game against the Tampa Bay Rays and celebrate their 1996 team, with whom Rivera won his first ring, a day earlier.
Rivera, 46, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2017.