Mariano Rivera glorifies God on his way to National Baseball Hall of Fame

Over his 19-year MLB career, Mariano Rivera collected all kinds of awards and accolades. He’s a 13-time All-Star with four top-three finishes in Cy Young Award voting. His 652 saves are the most in MLB history. 

On Tuesday, he added another honor to his name: first-ballot Hall of Famer. And he became the first player the Baseball Writers Association has ever unanimously voted in.

Rivera played his entire career with the New York Yankees, helping lead them to five World Series titles. He was named the 1999 World Series MVP after pitching 4.2 scoreless innings over three games. In 141 postseason innings, Rivera gave up a total of just 11 earned runs. 

Back in 1997, Rivera mysteriously developed a cutter that became one of the most feared pitches in baseball. In his mind, there’s only one explanation for how the pitch came about. 

“It came from the Lord. Nobody taught me that but Him,” Rivera told Sports Spectrum in 2010. “It’s been tremendous since the first time that I used it. It’s been effective, so I thank God for that.”

Through all the success, serving God remained Rivera’s top priority.

“I believe in Jesus Christ, and I cannot move without His direction,” Rivera said. “That doesn’t mean that I’m a perfect man. Now I wish I could tell you that I’m perfect, but I’m not. But I’m always trying to please the Lord, and that’s my goal.”

Rivera will be a part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, July 21 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

MAGAZINE: Mariano Rivera – Not Done Yet
— Yankees great Mariano Rivera tells students how to overcome failure
— Baseball Hall of Fame Flashback: Gary Carter, Paul Molitor honor Jesus
Yankees’ Luis Severino establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball