The MLB induction committee decided on the unanimous induction of Mariano Rivera into the Hall of Fame. His 18-year career earned him the first ever unanimous induction in his first year on the ballot.
Dating back to the first induction in 1936, Rivera is the first ever player to receive 100% induction votes. In order for a 100% vote to occur, 425 votes need to be cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, an association of baseball journalists who write for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying websites, according to baseballhall.org.
“I am a huge Rivera fan so I love it. Not only was he a great competitor, and the best closer the game has ever seen, but Rivera is more importantly a great person. Always gave his time for the fans and charity and still gives back to his hometown in Panama,” said Patrick Webster, Athens baseball coach.
Others have come close to this milestone, with Ken Griffey falling three votes short of being elected unanimously, ending with 99.3% of votes. To put this in perspective, Rivera is the first player out of 323 others to be inducted to Cooperstown unanimously.
Along with his history-making induction, Rivera had also made a name for himself as a New York Yankees relief pitcher from 1995-2013. Along with this, Mariano has five World Series rings to his name, his first one dating back to 1996 in which the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves.
“He finished his career with a 2.21 ERA (earned run average) in the regular season and a ridiculous 0.70 ERA in the postseason. The record for the most saves of all time with 652 and my favorite stat about Mariano Rivera is that more people have walked on the moon (12) than have scored against him in the postseason (11),” said Webster.
Rivera is the leading reliever in MLB history, with 652 career saves to go along with his 1173 strikeouts. Other awards include a World Series and the 1999 Babe Ruth Award, the award given to the top player in the postseason. These numbers have helped lead to his inauguration into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
“He had incredible career numbers so that made him a Hall of Famer. He also got a lot of attention for his performances, such as “In The Clutch.” Mariano was an excellent big game performer and it certainly didn’t hurt that he won multiple World Series’ for the Yankees,” said Rose.
In order for one to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have completed 10 seasons in the MLB (1 game counts as a season) and8ik been retired for 5 years. In addition to this, the individual must maintain at least 5% of the the Baseball Writers Association of America to stay on the ballot, and if this player obtains 75% or more of the votes cast by the members of this Association, that player is inducted into the Cooperstown MLB Hall of Fame.
“He succeeded in getting unanimously for multiple reasons including both his statistics and character. He had a scandal-free career and is well respected. To go along with this, his career numbers and awards have made him a very prominent player. Although this may not accommodate other athletes, Mariano Rivera was elected during his first year of eligibility so he didn’t have to worry about staying on the ballot,” said Nicholas Rose, sophomore.