The adulation of Mariano Rivera and his family when the former New York Yankees great got the Hall of Fame call is awesome.
Everyone knew New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera would be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. But when the best closer in history got the news that he also had the best Hall of Fame ballot in history, the excitement was uncontainable:
History! Mariano Rivera is officially the first player in MLB history to receive 100% of the votes! Truly remarkable experience for myself and his family! pic.twitter.com/WMrbFRsVAb
— Martino Puccio (@MartinoPuccio) January 22, 2019
The Rivera clan gave a hearty cheer upon hearing the official confirmation of Mariano’s Cooperstown status. However, there was a bonus piece of news that brought everyone in the room out of their seats.
Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, said the words, “You are the first person,” and then the place went off. Everyone knew O’Connell’s statement ended with the news they were really hoping to hear—Rivera is the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection in history.
All 425 voters gave the nod to the 13-time All-Star. Even that Boston guy who vowed to leave Rivera off his ballot couldn’t help himself.
Ken Griffey Jr. held the previous record, appearing on 99.32 percent of the ballots in 2016.
Rivera retired in 2013 after a 19-year career, all of it in pinstripes. He holds the MLB records for most career saves (952), games finished (652), and ERA+ (205), per Baseball Reference.
As good as he was in the regular season, Rivera was even more dominant in the postseason. He posted a 0.70 ERA, 42 saves, and 96 games played in the postseason—all records.
The induction ceremony for the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be on July 21. When Mariano Rivera walks up to the podium, someone better have the good sense to play “Enter Sandman.”
If Griffey can get away with wearing his Hall of Fame hat backward, Rivera should get his epic theme song. Heck, the Hall of Fame should even invite Metallica for a live performance.[membership level="0"]