Mariano Rivera‘s career has been special, to say the least. So with Rivera’s farewell tour expected to kick off soon, it’s a good time to reflect on just how impressive he’s been since becoming the Yankees’ closer.
Rivera, who enters the 2013 season as baseball’s all-time saves leader with 608, has been awesome during the regular season, and even better in the postseason. He has five World Series titles to his his credit, and he’s been a huge part of all of them.
Joe Torre, who managed Rivera for four of his World Series titles, recently joked that the closer “basically made my career,” and described him as a “security blanket.”
“He is the greatest ever,” Torre said, according to the New York Daily New. “It certainly isn’t a knock at the other guys, but he did it in New York, the biggest fishbowl in the world and in the postseason where everybody gets a chance to scrutinize. He responded.”
It’s hard — OK, it’s impossible — to argue Rivera’s greatness, but there have been other great closers to come through Major League Baseball. The statistic of saves is starting to become watered down a bit, but there are still some ninth-inning hurlers who stood above the rest.