The Sandman goes into the Hall of Fame.
Most professional athletes go into their pro careers with the goal of finding greatness. Greatness is what allows the athletes, particularly those in the four major sports, to move into their second home, the Hall of Fame. On July 21st, 2019, some of baseball’s greatest moved into Cooperstown. Among the inductees was Mariano “Mo” Rivera.
Rivera was arguably the best closing pitcher the game has ever seen. Sandman may be the greatest we will ever see, but there will never be another 42 who enters to “Enter Sandman”. More importantly, there will never be another relief pitcher or even baseball phenom like him. Jackie Bradley, Vlad Jr, nor Jose Altuve, not anybody will ever live up to the hype and skill Rivera put into the Yankee organization. He changed the game of baseball without question.
We have seen pitching staffs change every single week throughout all of baseball history. Mo was the exception as he was the warrior who stood tall and showed all baseball players, coaches, and fans alike how to get the job done. He leaves no doubt in my mind that the New York Yankees would not have won a single ring without him. Mo made every single batter scared to face him. Just ask the HOF class of 2019. Plain and simple, you just cannot find that anywhere else. Not even in an ace like Luis Severino or Clayton Kershaw or Dallas Keuchel.
By the way baseball fans, you saw the amount of respect in Cooperstown this year. Just think about how Bernie Williams honored his friend before he hit the podium. You did not see that with the Halladay family or any of the other inductees. Oh, and not to mention, the core four. Let the name speak for itself. Andy Petitte, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and the Sandman were donned the core four for a reason. The group was and still is the backbone of the Yankees organization, but Mo is the backbone of the group. You can ask, how are they the backbone if they are retired? They made a fanbase the fans know. It is a great amount of respect to see the fans watching even long after the glory days. By the way, Yankee fans know but in case you aren’t aware you can thank “Mo the magician” for turning heads. What other pitcher can spend his career starting, then convert to a reliever in such convincing fashion? Oh, and his son Mariano Jr. is a testament to the greatness of Mo as well. Although he may not be like his father he is a soft-hearted kind young man with the capability of being an ace of a pitcher. The credit is long overdue to #42, however, he did not give himself enough credit.
Mariano dished out the credit to his kids for being such great kids and hanging in there when he was not around. He continued by apologizing to the kids for missing all of the birthdays. Further, he thanked his wife and in-laws for raising his kids. I owe him tremendous credit for owning up to this, but, you know his family gave him tremendous credit for sacrificing his time for the game. You could see the amount of appreciation his family has for him. Their eyes were filled with tears and faces displaying full-blown smiles across their faces. Yeah okay sure, we saw this during other parts of the ceremony but that was because of the speech. The Riveras showed pure emotion throughout the plaque reading by Commissioner Manfred and the speech by their family member Rivera also paid an incredible amount of thanks to his teammates and managers. This was quickly shut down by former Yankee boss Joe Girardi after the show on MLB Network.
Sandman was 105% better than any other there ever has been. This is even more insane as he only did it with one pitch. A pitch that should have been easy to master after seeing it, but he turned it into a deadly weapon. You cannot sleep on the fact that he closed nearly 700 games successfully, over 56% of his times on the mound.
Sandman, we thank you for everything you did for the sport and welcome to the Hall.