Video: Yankees Icon Mariano Rivera Given Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2019

US President Donald Trump presents the Medal of Freedom to former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera in the East Room of the White House on September 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

President Donald Trump presented New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday.

"Mariano Rivera has made extraordinary contributions to American sports, culture and society. He is the most dominant relief pitcher in the history of baseball," Trump said, per CNN's Maegan Vazquez. "And more than that, he has lived the American dream and shines as an example of American greatness for all to see."

Rivera retired as the greatest closer in MLB history. He's the career leader in saves (652) and adjusted ERA+ (205), per Baseball Reference. A five-time World Series champion, the right-hander allowed three runs in 56 postseason innings.

Not only was Rivera enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, but he was also the first-ever unanimous selection.

Vazquez wrote during Monday's ceremony Trump "talked up some of Rivera's most notable stats, praised Rivera's Christian faith, and complimented his performance at the final game in the old Yankees Stadium—calling it 'the house that Ruth built and Rivera closed out.'"

Rivera was among the sports luminaries Trump appointed to the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in May 2018. He co-hosted a fundraiser for the pro-Trump America First Action PAC in New York City three months later.

Five other athletes have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump's time in office: Babe Ruth, Roger Staubach, Tiger Woods, Bob Cousy and Jerry West.

Related

    MadBum Is a Terrible Fit for the Yankees

    Why the Giants star is better off staying in the NL

    New York Yankees logo
    New York Yankees

    MadBum Is a Terrible Fit for the Yankees

    Zachary D. Rymer
    via Bleacher Report

    Each Team's Biggest Offseason Obstacle 😰

    New York Yankees logo
    New York Yankees

    Each Team's Biggest Offseason Obstacle 😰

    Joel Reuter
    via Bleacher Report

    Larry Walker Hoping to Make Hall of Fame in Final Year on Ballot

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Larry Walker Hoping to Make Hall of Fame in Final Year on Ballot

    MLB.com
    via MLB.com

    Will Red Sox Really Trade Mookie Betts?

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Will Red Sox Really Trade Mookie Betts?

    ESPN.com
    via ESPN.com