Congratulations today to Mariano Rivera who earned his 602nd save last night in a game against the Minnesota Twins, moving him one ahead of Trevor Hoffman. As Hoffman retired before the start of the season, that gap will only increase until 41 year old Rivera calls it a day too.
It’s not a record that will stay unbeaten, like Cal Ripken Jr’s streak, but it’s definitely phenomenal. As well as his 602 regular season saves, he also has 42 post-season saves, which I think would qualify him for inclusion on the list of greatest post-season closers of all time, even if playing for the Yankees has given him a lot more chances than other closers.
Reading all the stories about number 602 reminded me of this video from when Trevor Hoffman visited the MLB Fan Cave in June (when he still had the record).
I also read this tweet, which is pretty interesting:
Not that this means that K-Rod would have any chance of getting close to the record, even if he can keep playing at a high level for long enough, he may need to move away from the Brewers to get himself more save opportunities.
This year has been a big year for milestones. Here’s the ones that I can think of from the top of my head, but I know that there have been more:
- Mariano Rivera – 602 saves
- Derek Jeter – 3000 hits
- Jim Thome – 600 home runs
- Paul Konerko – 2000 hits
- Juan Pierre – 2000 hits
- Michael Young – 2000 hits
- Tim Wakefield – 200 wins
You probably know that I’m not a Yankees fan, I don’t like the fact that they have so much money that they can afford pretty much any player they want (as long as the player wants them too, *cough* Cliff Lee *cough*). But no matter how much I dislike the team, I respect the players who play the game the right way like Rivera and Jeter, and I think it’s really cool (and nowadays extremely unusual) when a player plays their entire career with a single team.
I would say it’s been a good year for baseball all round – it’s just a shame there are only 135 games left of the regular season, and that my team were not quite as ‘All-In’ as expected.