Skip to main content

Watch: Five of Mariano Rivera's Greatest Moments as Baseball's Greatest Closer

Relive some of the top moments of Mariano Rivera's career as a New York Yankee.

One year after inheriting the job from John Wetteland, Rivera served as the Yankees closer for the first time in the 1998 World Series. He kept the Padres scoreless through each of the 4 1/3 innings he logged while striking out four batters and allowing just five hits in three appearances, all of which resulted in saves.

Image placeholder title

Rivera named 1999 World Series MVP – October 27, 1999 vs. Atlanta Braves

Rivera was named World Series MVP for his performance in the 1999 Fall Classic after allowing just four total baserunners while striking out three across 4 2/3 innings. Rivera went 1–0 with two saves in three appearances, capping what's considered to be the best postseason stretch of his career.

Image placeholder title

Rivera clinches Yankees' World Series three-peat – October 26, 2000 vs. New York Mets

Rivera induced Mike Piazza into a hard-hit, game-ending line out to center field that clinched the Yankees' third straight championship. It also gave Rivera seven career postseason saves, a record at the time. He would go on to secure 42 postseason saves in his career, but considering the magnitude of the 2000 "Subway Series," this one ranked among his most memorable.

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

Image placeholder title

Rivera throws three innings in Game 7 of 2003 ALCS – October 16, 2003 vs. Red Sox

After tying the Red Sox in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees handed the ball to Rivera in the top of the ninth in the winner-take-all game. New York didn't take the ball out of his hand either. Rivera went on to pitch three total scoreless innings with the Yankees' season on the line, setting the table for Aaron Boone's walk-off home run off Tim Wakefield in the bottom of the 11th. Rivera threw 48 pitches before picking up the postseason victory.

Image placeholder title

Save No. 602 – Sept. 19, 2011 vs. Minnesota Twins

Rivera became MLB's all-time career saves leader when he surpassed Trevor Hoffman's mark of 601 during the 2011 season.

Rivera pitched for two more seasons and would close his career with 652 saves, throwing his final one at the age of 43.