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'Because God': The Greatest Closer, NY's Mariano Rivera, Voted Unanimously into Baseball Hall of Fame

01-23-2019
Mariano Rivera played for the New York Yankees for 19 seasons from 1995 to 2013. (AP Photo)
Mariano Rivera played for the New York Yankees for 19 seasons from 1995 to 2013. (AP Photo)

On Tuesday, Mariano Rivera became the first player to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  

Voted in by the Baseball Writer's Association of America, Rivera's name appeared on all 425 ballots.

Before Rivera, the highest vote percentage to gain Hall entry belonged to Ken Griffey Jr. in 2016, when he received 99.3 percent (named on 437 of 440 ballots), according to ESPN.

Joining Rivera in the Cooperstown, New York, hall will be designated hitter Edgar Martinez and starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina.

As CBN News reported, Rivera is regarded as the greatest closer of all time.  Among his achievements, he holds the record for most career saves – 652 over his 19-year career – and the record for most career games finished. He helped the New York Yankees win the World Series five times, and was also named the World Series MVP in 1999. 

In an interview with CBN Sports, Rivera, a devout Christian, spoke about what he thinks about his achievements in professional baseball.

"Those things (the stats) mean nothing for me," he said. "I mean, doesn't make me better or less. See, I don't—I don't want people to recognize me for those things. I want people to recognize me for who I am."

It was through his cousin that he learned about the Lord.  

"When I saw Vidal with the relationship that he had with the Lord, I was like, 'wow, you know, this is cool. Let me do this. Let me try this. (And) see what I find,'" Rivera explained.

The former Yankees pitcher said he's always humbled because he recognizes God as the source of his talent. 

"It is because God, Christ took those abilities and took it to a different level. The Lord gave me the strength to do all that stuff. So, therefore, I can never speak about myself, but the Lord," he told CBN Sports

Today, Rivera's time is spent working with his Mariano Rivera Foundation. The foundation's mission, according to the organization's website, has been to provide youth from impoverished families with an education that will empower them for the future.

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