Can Mariano Rivera Smash Another Bat?
Born on November 29 1969 in Panama City Mariano Rivera was married in 1991 and they have three sons: Mariano Jnr, Jafet, and Jaziel. He is a deeply religious christians and firmly believes that everything happens for a reason.
One famous example of this believe is when the Yankees lost the seventh game of the 2001 World Series because he discovered afterwards that had they won his good friend Enrique Wilson would have been on the fatal American Airlines Flight 587.
He also has the inscription "I can do all things through Christ, who strenghtens me" on his pitching glove. Considered by many to be the greatest closer in the games history he has won 4 World Series, is the current ( 2007) American League career leader, has the 4th most season saves in Major League history.
He is most famous for his signature pitch, a sharp-breaking fastball cutter that has shattered many a hitters bat earning it the nickname "buzzsaw" and is probably the most of pitches in the Major Leagues and despite the fact that most hitters are expecting it it is few who are able to hit it.
Despite all the praise and accolades he has won he remains modest, kind and generous with an equally good ability to remain calm and perform even under the most intense pressure and as a result he instills a certain calmness over his team-mates and even the fans.
Mariano Rivera also holds himself accountable for all his actions and will readily admit blame when he is at fault or pitches poorly.
These traits, which are often far to rare in a superstar, have made him popular both on and off the field with both fans and players alike.
His career as a pitcher started due to a series of coincidences.
In 1990, as a 20 year old shortstop he volunteered to pitch due to his teams regular pitcher being injured. Despite having no training as a pitcher his smooth delivery and fast ball, 85-87 mph, impressed a scout for the New York signed him to a contract.
The following years proved successful for Mariano but he was still not happy with his delivery so he began experiment but this led him to damage nerves in his elbow requiring surgery to fix.
This resulted in his not being drafted in the 1992 expansion draft for the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
It wasn't until 1993 that his arm was fully recovered and he was moved upto the AA then AAA teams after striking out 89 batters.
His debut in the Major Leagues came on May 23 1995 but in his first season he had mixed success as a starting pitcher and as a 25 year old pitcher with a history of major arm surgery his position with the club was far from guaranteed.
In fact the Yankees came close to trading him but a sudden improvement in his pitches and success gave them second thoughts.
In 1996 he was used mainly as a set-up man for closing pitcher John Wetteland. This partnership worked well for the Yankees and led them to Winning their first World Series since 1978.
But 1997 was a poor season for him, but since then he has dominated the game and has been the most successful and consistent closing pitchers in the Major League, in fact manly players would say that he is the greatest closer in the Major Leagues history.
During a long and distinguished career Mariano Rivera has recieved numerous
awards and honors including:
- 1997 Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award,
- 1999 World Series MVP, Babe Ruth Award, Rolaids Relief Man of the Year
Award,Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award, Baseball Americas 1st-Team Major
League All-Star Reliever
- 2001 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award, Sporting News Reliever of the Year
Award, Baseball Americas 1st-Team Major League All-Star Reliever
- 2003 American League Championship Series MVP Award
- 2004 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award, MLB.com,s Closer of the Year Award,
Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award, Baseball Americas 1st-Team Major
League All-Star Reliever
- 2005 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award, MLB.com,s Closer of the Year Award,
DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award, Sporting News
Reliever of the Year Award, Baseball Americas 1st-Team Major League All-Star
Reliever, New York Yankees Player of the Year
- 2006 MLB.com,s Closer of the Year AwardMLB.com,s Closer of the Year Award, DHL
Delivery Man of the Year Award
Many Major League experts and sports writers expect him to be voted into
Baseballs Hall of Fame once he becomes eligible and was recently voted numder 10
on a list of the Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time.
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