Mariano Rivera Becomes First Player Unanimously Voted Into Baseball Hall of Fame

The longtime Yankees closer received 100% percent of the votes on 425 ballots.
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Longtime New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been unanimously voted into the Hall of Fame.

Regarded by many as a Hall of Famer the moment he stepped off the field for the last time, Rivera received 100% percent of the votes on 425 submitted ballots, breaking Ken Griffey Jr.'s 99.3% all-time record for highest percentage of the vote set in 2016. Rivera is the first player ever to be unanimously enshrined.

Voter Bill Ballou initially stated that he would abstain from this year's Hall of Fame voting because he was not convinced that Rivera deserved election, however, he did not want to deny him the unanimous election.

The Telegram & Gazette (Mass.) columnist ultimately voted for Rivera and solidified his selection–unanimously.

The greatest closer in the history of the game, Rivera tallied an MLB all-time record 652 saves over the span of his 19-year career with the Yankees. Rivera won five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards, finishing in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young award four times.

Rivera was a key contributer to the Yankees' success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP and holds an MLB-best 0.70 ERA in 141 postseason innings. He had 42 postseason saves and recorded the final out in the World Series on four separate occasions.

Rivera was highly praised for his longevity and consistency displayed throughout his role as a closer. He saved at least 25 games in 15 consecutive seasons and posted an ERA under 2.00 in 11, both MLB records.

Rivera is the eighth reliever to be elected to Cooperstown, joining Hoyt Wilhelm (1985), Rollie Fingers (1992), Dennis Eckersley (2004), Bruce Sutter (2006), Goose Gossage (2008), Trevor Hoffman (2018) and Lee Smith (2019).