Former New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada issued a touching statement regarding right-handed pitcher Mariano Rivera, who confirmed Saturday that 2013 will mark his final season.
“There is only one Mariano Rivera,” Posada, Rivera’s teammate from 1995-2011, said. “There won’t be another person who will come along and do what he did. No one does it like him.
“It was an honor to catch him and play alongside him for as long as I did. He made my job as a catcher so much easier. Mariano is a special person and obviously a special player. I’m so happy he is going out on his terms. Now every time he steps into a ballpark this year, teams and fans can celebrate and appreciate what he has meant to this great game we play.”
Rivera, the cover subject of LatinTRENDS magazine’s June 2011 issue, is coming back from a season-ending knee injury he suffered last May. The 43-year-old closer tore his right ACL chasing a fly ball at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City) during batting practice.
Despite the career-threatening nature of the injury, Rivera—Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in saves (608)—immediately revealed his intent to return, telling reporters, “I’m not going down like this.”
On Saturday, the 18-year veteran doubled down on that sentiment but conceded, “Now is the time. The tank is almost empty.”
A five-time World Series champion, Rivera (76-58, 2.21 ERA) wants to go out on top.
“The last game I hope is the last pitch of the World Series,’’ the Panamanian right-hander said. “That is how I envision my last game.’’
Click here to view Rivera’s entire announcement.