Mariano Rivera of New York Yankees Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame in Unanimous Vote

By RADIO.COM

NEW YORK (WFAN.com) -- Cue the Metallica in Cooperstown. Mariano Rivera is coming.

The legendary New York Yankees closer on Tuesday became the first player to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote.

"Amazing," Rivera told MLB Network about receiving 100 percent support from the 425 baseball writers who cast ballots. "All I have to say is thank God for that. It was a beautiful, long career with, to me, the best organization that there is in baseball, the New York Yankees, and to end up with this like that is amazing."

Rivera was one of four former players to be elected, along with former Yankees teammate Mike Mussina, former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay and former Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez. Two other players, Harold Baines and Lee Smith, were elected last month by the 16-person Today's Game Committee.

MORE: 5 Greatest Mo-ments In Mariano Rivera's Career

Rivera is considered by most to be the greatest reliever in major league history. In parts of 19 major league seasons, all of which he spent in the Bronx, Rivera racked up an MLB-record 652 saves to go with his career 2.21 ERA in 1,283 2/3 innings. The 13-time All-Star won five World Series championships with the Yankees and was named the World Series MVP in 1999. Rivera's numbers were even more unbelievable once the Yankees got to the postseason: a 0.70 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 141 innings. The Panama native also went multiple innings in 31 of his 42 postseason saves.

"I had the best seat in the house to watch the greatest closer of all time," Derek Jeter, Rivera's longtime teammate, wrote on his website, The Players' Tribune. "Hall of Fame teammate, Hall of Fame person. And now, officially, a Hall of Fame player." 

Seventy-five percent of the vote is the theshold for election.

Mussina received 76.7 percent. The right-hander went 270-153 over his 18-year career, posting a 3.68 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 3,562 2/3 innings. He spent 10 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and then eight years with the Yankees. Mussina was a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, but failed to win a Cy Young Award or a World Series championship. 

 

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It was Mussina's sixth year on the ballot. Last year, he received 63.5 percent support.

When asked which hat he'd be wearing on his plaque in Cooperstown, Mussina said he couldn't choose. 

"To play 10 seasons in one place and eight seasons in the other and have pretty comparable numbers in both places, I wouldn't be on this phone call if it wasn't for both places," he said on MLB Network. "There's no way I could pick one over the other." 

MORE: Why Mussina Is Deserving Of Hall Of Fame

Halladay got 85.4 percent of the vote and will be the first posthumous inductee since Deacon White in 2013 and Ron Santo in 2012. Halladay died in November 2017 at 40 years old when an airplane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Martinez was a .312 hitter over 18 seasons with Seattle. He got 85.4 percent in his 10th and final try on the writers' ballot. He and Baines will join 2014 inductee Frank Thomas as the only Hall of Famers to play the majority of their games at designated hitter. David Ortiz will be eligible in 2022.

Curt Schilling received the highest total of those who were not elected with 60.9 percent. Two former players connected to the steroids era only saw only a slight uptick in their support. Roger Clemens received 59.5 percent of the vote, up from 57.3 percent last year. Barry Bonds received 59.1 percent, up from 56.4 percent.

With AP