Mariano Rivera was the closer for New York Yankees dynasty in the ’90s and 2000s. For his work as the greatest late inning pitcher, Rivera made history by becoming the first ever unanimous Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.
Three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. came the closest to a unanimous induction when he received 99.32 percent of the vote or just three ballots short.
Filled with excitement, Rivera said, “After my career, I was thinking that I had a shot to be a Hall of Famer. But this was just beyond my imagination. I was amazed the way all this has been, through my whole career — and this being the pinnacle of every player that plays the game of baseball, to be unanimous.”
Rivera, a 5-time World Series champion, was eligible for the first time this year, is joined by three other inductees, the late Roy Halladay (85.4 percent of ballots), longtime Seattle designated hitter Edgar Martinez (85.4 percent) and former Oriole and Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina (76.7 percent).
Controversial players Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens again did not reach the required number of votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. They have been dogged due to their alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The players will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on July 21 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with designated hitter Harold Baines and reliever Lee Smith, who was passed over by the writers but were elected by a smaller committee last month.