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Mr. 600 : Mariano Rivera

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is just one save from the Major League saves mark, as the Hall of Fame stopper aided the Bombers (90-57) to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners (61-87) on Tuesday.

In a year that has featured memorable milestones, such as the 3,000 hit for Derek Jeter-who will be joining his longtime teammate in the hallowed halls in Cooperstown. Rivera has picked up all of these saves, plus 43 more in the postseason-all on one amazing pitch….the cut fastball.

Even more astonishing is that the closer has quietly shined in one of the brightest stages of all-as it takes a special type of player to last with the Yankees. Rivera has not only lasted, but forged a 15-year legacy with the team.

Not only the legacy on the field, but off the field as well-as the closer is always giving back to the New York community, and the community of his native Panama. Rivera has built an elementary school and a church, provided Christmas gifts to children and developed a program that provided computer access and mentors to youths.

Rivera has his own Foundation, which annual distributes more than $500,000 to underprivileged children in the US and Panama through church-based institutions. The future Hall of Famer is planning on a life of giving after his career with baseball is over.

Right now though the career is long from over, as ‘Mo’ along with his cut fastball still has a legacy to forge on the field.

The finale of this three-game set will conclude at 10:10 p.m. tonight as Yankees starter Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.94 ERA) takes on scheduled starter Jason Vargas (8-13, 4.49 ERA).

Written on September 14, 2011

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