The Greatest There Ever Was
Originally Aired: Monday, September 19, 2011. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
Today, at approximately 4:40 PM, I was on mlb.com tracking the Twins-Yankees game online. I looked up and saw that it was 6-4 in favor of the Yankees going into the bottom of the ninth. I clicked on the live video made available and watched as Mariano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out Chris Parmelee looking to end the game. He walked of the mound like it was just another save, while the crowd and his teammates (especially Jorge Posada) jumped and screamed for joy. After some handshakes and hugs, he returned to the mound and was applauded by 40,000 fans that came to make-up day game with the last-place Twins. Mariano didn’t know what to do with all this attention and praise, so he just walked off the mound.
There’s nothing flashy about Rivera. He comes in to games, does his job (which he does quite well by the way), shakes hands with his teammates, and goes into the locker room. Throughout his 1,208 innings pitched, his 1,108 strikeouts, and his now all-time leading 602 saves and counting, Mo has always put the Yankees’ goals in front of his own. Whenever reporters question him about his own upcoming milestones, Rivera always answers that he doesn’t look at the game that way and he’s just focusing on helping the Yankees win their 28th World Championship. Every professional athlete should conduct him or herself exactly the way Mo has conducted himself over the years: never pulling any attention towards himself while contributing so much to his organization.
My first ever Yankee memory is Mariano being on the mound in 1998 World Series when the Yankees beat the San Diego Padres. He has given me a mindful of memories that I will never forget. This is just another one I’ll hold on to. Congrats Mo. Hopefully you can stick around for at least another World Series Ring.