I have a unique opportunity tonight. Well, me and 50,000 other people! We get to see Mariano Rivera pitch in his last regular season game as a New York Yankee, perhaps his final game ever. (As I write this, there is still a tiny hope for post-season play; a teeny, tiny hope.) Of course, this assumes that he will get in the game, but I can’t imagine that won’t happen, no matter what the score is near the end of the game.

Today, I am thankful for the game and integrity that Mariano Rivera has brought to Major League Baseball over the last 19 years.

As a closer, Rivera usually pitches just one inning.  Sometimes just five or six pitches. All of those are one pitch; his famed cut fastball.

Here are just a few of the wow stats (as of September 17):

1278.1 innings pitched with 1170 strikeouts. Wow!

651 saves out of 731 save opportunities.  Wow!

Career earned run average (ERA) of 2.22. Wow!

Career WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of exactly 1.00. Wow!

And, he gives back to his hometown in Panama.  He and his wife have raised three great kids. There have been no crazy on the field or off the field antics. This season, Rivera has taken the time in each Major League city to thank the clubhouse staff, the ballpark vendors, the behind-the-scenes people and the fans who make a baseball game the experience that it is. Wow, wow, and wow!

Mariano Rivera is absolutely a Hall of Fame shoe-in.  I am thankful to have witnessed his era in the game.


What are you thankful for?

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