Mariano Rivera is known as a former professional baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues. He played for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2003 under the nickname “Mo” and “Sandman,” and spend most of his time as a relief pitcher.


Background

Mariano Rivera was born on November 29, 1969, in Panama City, Panama. Mariano is the second child of Mariano Rivera Palacios and Delia Jiron. He has an older sister, and other two younger brothers, Giraldo and Álvaro. The family lived in Puerto Caimito, a fishing village in Panama and the father supported the house with his small fishing boat.

Mariano described his origins as poor. As a young boy, he played soccer and baseball on the beach during low tide. The Brazilian former soccer player Pelé was his idol. Soccer was his favorite sport.

He also enjoyed playing baseball with three branches as bats and milk cartons as gloves. The kids of his town fashioned the balls from worn-out baseballs wrapped with fishing nets. Rivera played with the make-believe equipment until his father bought him his first glove when he was 12 years old.

He attended an elementary school called Escuela Victoriano Chacón and a high school called Escuela Secundaria Pedro Pablo Sánchez. However, he abandoned his education while he was in ninth grade to pursue sports.

Baseball Career

Rivera kept playing in Panama until he debuted with the New York Yankees in 1995. He was converted from starting pitcher to relief pitcher in his rookie season and had a breakthrough season on 1996 to quickly become one of the best relievers of the MLB. He led the league in saves on 1999, 2001, and 2004 with his sharp-moving 90s mile-per-hour fastball that frequently broke the rival’s bats.

He closed games as a pitcher during 17 seasons for the New York Yankees. He became a thirteen-time All-Star player and five-time World Series’ champion. He is the career leader in saves of the MLB with 652 saves and 952 games finished. His Fangraphs stats detail 82 matches won, 60 losses, 652, 1115 games played, an overall WHIP score of 1.00, and a batting AVG of .209.

He was named 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player and the 2003 AL Championship Series Most Valuable Player. He was at his best during 2008 to 2012. During that time he had a three-year contract, he landed a salary starting at $15 million per year. It remains as the highest single-season salary for a relief pitcher in the history of the MLB.

Personal Life

Rivera is married to Clara Rivera. He met his wife at his elementary school. They got married on November 1991. They have a family of three sons: Jafet, Jaziel, and Mariano III. Clara and the three sons lived in Panama until 2000, when they moved to Westchester County, New York.

The Rivera household currently lives in Rye, New York. Mariano III became a pitcher as well and he already debuted with the Washington Nationals on 2015. Mariano Rivera has a net worth of $80 million.

Last Modified: Mar 11, 2020


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