Don’t think that New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deserved to be the first unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame? Well, apparently he was pretty darn good.
Yet, after 19 years on the mound, nobody could figure it out. Thus the legend of Mariano Rivera was born and caused him to be the first unanimous selection to Cooperstown.
According to some of his opponents, Rivera’s cutter was absolutely filthy and something even the best couldn’t prepare for.
One of the former players who shared his experience with the world was Michael Young, who played for the Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Young was a solid player but his teammates couldn’t seem to ever find an answer for Rivera.
Here’s my Mo story…
We’d have the guy in the on deck circle use the metal donut. If Jorge set up inside he’d knock the donut off hard, hitter would hear it, and know it was cutter inside…ya, not very obvious. It worked. He’d get 3 outs on 12 pitches instead of 9. Congrats Mo!
— Michael Young (@MikeyY626) January 23, 2019
This has to be, by far, the greatest single story about Mariano Rivera’s dominance from an opponent. They tried to cheat but Mariano Rivera was simply that good. He cheated them.
Honestly, it wasn’t fair what Rivera did to his opponents. He held batters to a .211 over the course of his career. The postseason was even better for the closer.
But Young wasn’t the only one who shared a story about the dominance of Mariano Rivera. Rivera’s former teammate Mark Teixeira took to Twitter to share his encounter against The Sandman.
As a teammate of @MikeyY626 with the @Rangers, I can confirm this story…it was a desperate action by hitters who knew we were toast. That’s why I signed with the @Yankees…didn’t have to face Mo anymore! https://t.co/GHRcZ9F6rh
— Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) January 23, 2019
Of course, every team tried to cheat. They knew what was coming but didn’t know what part of the plate it was going to. And yet, they failed miserably time and time again.
Sure, there were flukes and some moments that Mo would like to forget about his career. But the majority of the time, he was able to shut down his opponent with one simple pitch.
The New York Yankees don’t just have a Hall of Famer on their hands. They have a true wizard in Mariano Rivera and that’s exactly how he will be remembered amongst his opponents.