Rivera, Mariano, 1969–, Panamanian baseball player. A right-handed relief pitcher nicknamed the Sandman, he joined the New York Yankees organization in 1990 and spent his entire career with them. He began (1995) his 19-year career in the majors as a lackluster starter, but within two years was the team's star closer. Extremely consistent, with superb control and a devastating cutter (cut fastball), Rivera is widely regarded as the finest closer in major-league history. He had 15 consecutive seasons with at least 25 saves (a record), and also set the most career saves (652), most postseason and World Series saves (42 and 11, respectively, contributing to five Yankees' world championships), most All-Star selections as a reliever (13), and other records. He retired in 2013, and was unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
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