Major League Baseball presented longtime New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award before Game 2 of the World Series Thursday at Fenway Park in Boston.
The iconic Mariano Rivera receives the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. pic.twitter.com/VXJsnbDJb9— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2013
Rivera is the 13th recipient of the award, which was created 15 years ago, and the first since Ken Griffey Jr. was honored in 2011. The Yankees' legendary closer recently completed his final big-league season, posting a 2.11 ERA and 44 saves in 2013.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig released a statement regarding the honoring of Rivera:
"Throughout his illustrious career, [Rivera] has represented his family, his country, the Yankees and all of Major League Baseball with the utmost class and dignity. It is wholly appropriate that Mariano was the last Major League player to wear Jackie Robinson's sacred number 42. I am pleased that our entire sport can pause on our greatest stage to thank him and his family for all of his contributions to our national pastime."
Rivera was initially honored at a press conference a little over an hour before the start of the game and later was joined by his wife and three sons, as well as Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, in a pregame presentation. He had the following to say about the award:
"I've been blessed. And it's an honor and a privilege to receive this award."
The 43-year-old native of Panama finished his 19-year career as MLB's all-time leader in saves (652), games. finished (952) and ERA+ (205).