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They'll never be another like Mo. OTD in 2011 Mariano Rivera became the all-time Saves Leader.


Not many times in a baseball do we get to witness history that has such magintuitude across the sport. Right now, we are all Cardinals fan, watching Albert Pujols crank his way to 700 home runs. We also are brining back an appreciation for the closer position, where the Mets have created a superstar fandom behind Edwin Diaz and his 'Narco' walkup song.


Times like this is a friendly reminder for Yankee fans, that not too long ago, they had a historic player like Mariano Rivera. We truly were spoiled to have a player like Mo. When this video popped up in my feed, I went down a rabbit hole of some of the best Mariano moments from his historic career.


The fact that Rivera came as a surprise proves that being in the right place at the right time is a true testament. At 18 years old, he was a utility player for Panama Oeste Vaqueros. He wasn't projected to make the majors based off his skill, and he was asked to pitch in a playoff game after a pitcher threw a dud. Out of nowhere, he pitched well. Well enough where teammates of his contacted a scout of the Yankees. Weeks later, he was invited to a tryout camp. With no training, he was pitching an easy 85 mph, and the scouts were impressed by by his athleticism and smooth, effortless pitching motion. As a rookie, Rivera was initially slated to be a starting pitcher for the Yanks, but the results were mixed. He slowly began transitioning into a relief pitcher, where in 1996 he struck out 130 batters in 107 innings, while going 8-3 with a 2.09 ERA. It wasn't until 1997 that he became the closer, and his historic stretch began.


19 Seasons later and witnessed the best closer in the history of baseball, and the accolades speak for themselves.

  • 13× All-Star (1997, 1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2008–2011, 2013)

  • 5× World Series champion (1996, 1998–2000, 2009)

  • World Series MVP (1999)

  • ALCS MVP (2003)

  • 5× AL Rolaids Relief Man Award (1999, 2001, 2004–2005, 2009)

  • 3× Delivery Man of the Year (2005–2006, 2009)

  • AL Comeback Player of the Year (2013)

  • 3× MLB saves leader (1999, 2001, 2004)

  • All time saves leader

  • First ever unanimous Hall of Famer

The question is, will there ever be another like Mo? Unbiasedly, I can't imagine so. When you look at the numbers, Mo was a unicorn. On the save factor alone, he sits atop of the leaderboard with 51 more than the second place pitcher in Trevor Hoffman.


If you look at the Top-10 list in terms of Saves, the two pitchers who have a chance is Dodgers Craig Kimbrel and Braves Kenley Jansen.


Kimbrel needs 258 saves and 603 more innings. At his pace right now (52 innings / 22 saves), which is an outlier compared to recent years, he would need to pitch 11.6 more seasons getting 11.7 saves each season. Jansen needs 268 saves and 523 more innings. Similar, his pace right now is 55 innings at 34 saves. He would have to pitch 9.5 more seasons averaging 7.88 saves each of those years.


Both are attainable, but that doesn't take into account age and regression. The pair are both 34 years old, making them 45 and 43 respectively to do so. What's impressive is Rivera did this with just the Yankees, while both pitchers have hoped around the league and are not on their original team.


Further down the list, you have players like Aroldis Chapman (315 saves), Mark Melancon (261), and Greg Holland (260), who all are on the later ends of their careers. The one name that has potential is Edwin Diaz, who currently sits at 203 saves in 394 innings pitched.


He's pitched in 56 innings with 30 saves thus far this year. At this pace, he'll need to pitch for just under 16 more seasons, with 15 saves per season. He is just 28 years old, so it's very possible.


Saves leader is one factor, but we haven't even got into the clutchness of Mariano, and his insane postseason stat that gets circulated every year.

In my eyes, Mo will be and always will be the greatest closer of all time. No one will ever have the pitch like "It". His cutter is one of the greatest pitches the game has ever known. 85.6% of Rivera’s pitches were cutters, and the pitch had so much movement and was so lethal, and it gave him the stats that are close to untouchable. He stands as the career leader in saves (652), games finished (952), and ERA+ (205). Among hurlers logging as many innings as his 1,283.2 during the Live Ball Era (since 1920), Rivera is first in WHIP (1.00), ERA (2.21), and OPS against (.555).




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