Monday, September 19, 2011

The Greatest Ever

Congratulations go to Mariano Rivera who recorded his 602 career save, and is now the all-time leader (he has an additional 42 post-season saves). I have seen many of those saves in person, and of course even more on television. While I think the save statistic is overblown, to be able to do what he has done for as long as he has done is simply remarkable. I doubt we will see the likes of him again.

Sometime I plan on writing a book about what we can learn from baseball, and I know how the bottom of the ninth will end, it will be about Mariano Rivera. After he gave up the hit in the bottom of the ninth that lost the 2001 World Series, Rivera stood at his locker for more than an hour and answered the same question over and over again. He didn't get angry or short, he simply took responsibility for what had happened and displayed the same degree of grace that he shows even when he wins. He doesn't show hitters up, he simply goes out and does his job.

I do have to add, however, that those who are claiming that Rivera is the greatest pitcher ever are out of their minds. He is not even the greatest pitcher of his generation. But, he is, without a doubt, the greatest closer and reliever of all time.

Special recognition goes out to the Minnesota Twins who stayed in the dugout and applauded Rivera as well. True class.

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