Mariano Rivera To Be Honored At Fenway Park Before Game 2
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday night that it will be honoring Mariano Rivera with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award Thursday night before Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park. Rivera will be the 13th player to receive the award, the first since Ken Griffey Jr. in 2011.
The award is given out by the Commissioner of MLB — that would be Bud Selig — to a group or person who has made a “major impact on the sport” of baseball. This is not a yearly award handed out, rather it’s given at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Rivera officially retired from professional baseball in 2013 after 19 big league seasons with the Yankees, compiling an all-time leading 652 saves, with 44 of them coming this season. Rivera can easily be regarded as the greatest closer of all-time, he left baseball at the top of his game, and he’s more than deserving of this award.
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were the first two players to be given the honor for their parts in the MLB Homerun Record Chase of 1998. Barry Bonds was also given the award in 2003 for his effort in breaking the all-time record for home runs in a single season.
Rachael Robinson, wife of former MLB player Jackie Robinson, was the first and only person, so far, outside of the playing field to win be given the honor for her ”contribution and sacrifice to the legacy of her husband.” Commissioner Selig presented her the award for her work with the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
In 2001, the Seattle Mariners became the only team to be given the award after winning a Major League-record 116 games that season.
Other former Yankees that have previously been given the award by the Commission include Roger Clemens, and even current-Yankee Ichiro Suzuki, who was presented with the award while with the Mariners in 2005 after breaking the all-time record with hits in a single season with 262. Earlier this year, Ichiro became just the second player in baseball history to eclipse the 4,000 career hit mark — most of his hits came while he was in Japan, though.
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