Mariano Rivera Becomes MLB All-Time Saves Leader
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth inning in the New York Yankees’ 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday to notch his record-setting 602nd save, which allowed him to break a tie with erstwhile MLB career saves leader Trevor Hoffman.
The 41-year-old closer forced Trevor Plouffe to ground out to second and Michael Cuddyer to fly out to set up his final out against first baseman Chris Parmelee, who struck out looking. Yankees catcher Russell Martin immediately gave Rivera the historic ball after the final out, even as the rest of the New York players came to congratulate the Panamanian pitcher. “Oh, my God, for the first time in my career, I’m on the mound alone,” said Rivera, who is known for shying away from the spotlight. “It was priceless. I didn’t know it could be like that,” Rivera said referring to the cheers he received from the fans at the Yankee Stadium.
Yankees fans had been hoping that Rivera would achieve the milestone at home, and they sure showed their desire to see Mo do his thing by cheering after Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher grounded to an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the eighth.
Rivera expressed relief that the attention that surrounded his chase for the record will finally die down. “Thank God it’s over, too. Because I was getting a little uncomfortable,” Rivera said.