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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Mariano Rivera makes history with Hall of Fame induction

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera has made history with his Hall of Fame induction.

Rivera on Monday was among the players named to the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class. The historic part about his induction is that he became the first player in history to be unanimously elected to the Hall. That’s right, all 425 voters checked off the ballot for Rivera.

Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Cy Young, Hank Aaron … all of the greats and none of them were ever elected unanimously. Previously, there was a line of thinking that some voters refused to vote for a player on their first turn, which prevented players from being elected unanimously. That streak was broken with Rivera. It’s easy to see why.

Rivera is the greatest closer in the history of the game. He has defined the position. He is the all-time leader in games finished (952), saves (652) and ERA+ (205). He was a 13-time All-Star and finished top-5 in Cy Young voting five times. On top of that, his postseason resume is incomparable. Though he had an impressive 2.21 ERA in the regular season, he became a dominant factor in the playoffs and went 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA in 141 career postseason innings. He was a core member of five World Series teams, won World Series MVP once, and ALCS MVP once as well.

Rivera has it all — regular season dominance, longevity, postseason dominance, individual accolades, team accolades, and as a bonus, he’s supremely likable. The unanimous selection is completely deserved and couldn’t have happened to a better player and person.

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