Mariano Rivera was born on November 29, 1969, in Panama City, Panama. He is a former professional pitcher who played 19 seasons in the Major League Baseball. 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.

He closed 17 seasons for the Yankees and 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 g952 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.

Early life

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.

The former baseball player describes 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, and football soccer was his favorite sports.

Yet he also enjoyed playing baseball with three branches as bats, and milk cartons as gloves. The kids of the 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.

By that time he attended elementary school Escuela Victoriano Chacón and high school Escuela Secundaria Pedro Pablo Sánchez. However, he abandoned his education while he was in ninth grade.

Professional career

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

He was at his best during his final years. He posted a 1.64 ERA, 6.69 strikeout-to-to-walk score and 0.8 WHIP. Furthermore, he had an average of 39 saves per year. After he finished the season he tried to leverage the Yankees for a bulkier contract, bur the New York team couldn’t afford it anymore. In the end, he decided to stay with the Yankees for two more years and finally retired on 2014.

Aside from being the MLB’s best relief pitcher in history, he won five American League Roladis Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards. He also landed four times a top tree position in voting for the AL Cy Young Award.

Personal life

Rivera is married to Clara Rivera. He meets her wife at the elementary school and 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, where they moved to Westchester County, New York.

The Rivera household currently lives in Rye, N.Y. Mariano III is becoming a pitcher as well, and he already debuted in the Washington Nationals on 2015. Mariano Rivera pitcher has a net worth of $80 million. Fans can follow the former relief pitcher on Twitter or Instagram through @mariano_rivera.