Rivera closes book on legendary career

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Mariano Rivera made his final appearance at Yankee Stadium Thursday night.Mariano Rivera made his final appearance at Yankee Stadium as the future Hall of Famer nears the end of a legendary career with the New York Yankees.

Rivera has 652 saves, the most in major league history. He has 428 more saves than any other player in Yankees history (Dave Righetti), and 136 more than the next three players combined (Dave Righetti, Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle).

Most 30-Save Seasons
MLB History

Rivera’s 42 postseason saves are also the most in MLB history. No other player has more than 18 (Brad Lidge). Rivera also holds the records for most 30-save seasons (15) and most consecutive 20-save seasons (15).

Rivera is a 13-time All-Star, five-time Rolaids Relief Award winner, LCS MVP award-winner and World Series champion. Rivera ranks first all-time in Adjusted ERA with an ERA+ of 205 (minimum 1000 IP). ERA+ is ERA adjusted for the league and park, and allows you to compare players from different eras on the same baseline (100 is average, above 100 is above average).

There are only five pitchers in the Hall of Fame who started fewer than 100 games and had at least 50 saves: Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, Rollie Fingers and Hoyt Wilhem. Of those, only one started fewer than 20 games, like Rivera: Sutter (300 saves, 0 starts).

Did you know?

• Rivera made his major league debut on May 23, 1995. He lost to the Los Angeles Angels, 10-0, as Chuck Finley pitched a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts. Said Yankees manager Buck Showalter afterward: "One of the things Mariano can learn from tonight is that there's not much margin for error up here. ... Every pitcher goes through growing pains.”

• With Rivera’s retirement, no player will wear the No. 42 on a regular basis again. Major League Baseball retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson in 1997, but Rivera was allowed to keep the number under a grandfather clause.