Fact: Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time. In the past, there have been people that said as long as he doesn't have the All-Time record, the previous statement can not be official. The New York Yankees closer shut the door in a 6-4 win over the Twins on Monday afternoon to record the 602nd save of his career. Six hundred and two saves makes him the All-Time Major League Baseball leader in saves as he tops Trevor Hoffman.
Rivera has 644 saves if one were to count the 42 that he has earned in the postseason. That has always been what makes the Panamanian right-hander different than any other closer. The Yankees' magic number to clinch the American League East is down to five games. They seem to be a sure bet to make the playoffs, so Rivera could add even more saves to his total.
It does not look like he will be slowing down. At the age of 41, Rivera is second in the American League for saves with 43 on the year. The last time he notched 43 or more in a single season was in 2009, when the Yankees won the World Series over the Phillies. This is the seventh time that he has performed the feat in his career.
Monday afternoon's save comes after a young Minnesota Twins team came back from a 5-0 deficit early on to call for Rivera's services in the late going. He came out and retired the three batters he faced. First baseman Chris Parmelee became the answer to a future trivia question, as he was the final out of the 602nd save. Rivera threw his signature cutter to get the rookie to go down looking.
At the end of the game, Rivera was surrounded by his teammates who hugged and congratulated him on his record. The Minnesota Twins clapped for the Yankees closer, but it was when Rivera had to stand alone on the mound that he tried to hold back tears. Yankee Stadium was filled with fans yelling and thanking Rivera for his commitment to the team for 16 years. The closer tipped his cap and thanked fans for their support.
Mariano Rivera, one of baseball's finest class acts.