Mariano Rivera becomes baseball's first unanimous Hall of Fame inductee in history
Known for his devastating cutter and unparalleled domination over 19 seasons with the New York Yankees, "The Sandman" was enshrined with an unprecedented 100 percent of the vote, joining former teammate Mike Mussina (76.7%) as well as Roy Halladay (85.4%) and Edgar Martinez (85.4%) in the 2019 induction class.
Rivera, 49, holds the all-time record for most saves with 652, and was named to 13 All-Star Games over the course of his illustrious career.
During that time, he helped the Bombers capture five World Series championships alongside his fellow Core Four members, helping to further the Yankees' legacy of greatness in the Bronx.
Mo pitched 1,283 2/3 innings to a 2.21 ERA, struck out 1,173 batters, walked 286, and posted an all-time record ERA+ of 205.
It's almost hard to believe Mariano's postseason success over the 16 years his Yankees teams made it to October. In 141 postseason innings pitched, Rivera allowed just two home runs, struck out more than five times as many batters as he walked (5.24 K/BB) and posted a staggering 0.70 ERA for his playoff career, the lowest mark for any pitcher in postseason history.
What made Mo's dominance that much more incredible was the fact that hitters knew what was coming: the cutter. It didn't matter. They still couldn't hit it.
Mo never received a Cy Young Award despite being the best reliever in the game for most of his career, however he finished in the top-five in five different seasons ('96, '99, '04, '05, '08). In 1999, he earned World Series MVP honors as the Yankees powered their way to their third championship in four years. In 2013, he earned ALCS MVP honors as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox.
Rivera is the last player to ever don a No. 42 jersey in the wake of its league-wide retirement in honor of Jackie Robinson, and when Rivera was honored with a plaque at Yankee Stadium to commemorate his career, Jackie's widow, Rachel, was on hand to celebrate the occasion.
Few pitchers before or since have demonstrated the kind of unhittable dominance that Mariano made look routine, and as he prepares to join legions of fellow Yankees legends in the halls of Cooperstown, he'll forever be regarded as the greatest closer in history.