Mariano Rivera Among 20 New Candidates on the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Mariano Rivera is on the ballot…

The 42-year-old Panamanian former Major League Baseball pitcher is among 20 new candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, joined by 15 holdovers headed by Edgar Martinez.

Mariano Rivera

Nicknamed “Mo” and “Sandman,” Rivera played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees. He spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees’ closer for 17 seasons.

Rivera had 652 regular-season saves and 42 in the postseason that included five World Series titles. He was 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA in 32 postseason series.

Rivera was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the 2003 American League Championship Series MVP, and he holds several postseason records, including lowest earned run average (ERA) (0.70) and most saves (42).

Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually. Martinez and first baseman Fred McGriff (23.2 percent last year) are on the BBWAA ballot for the final time.

Other Latino players making the ballot include Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher Freddy García, Dominican former professional baseball player Plácido Polanco, Dominican former professional baseball outfielder Manny Ramírez, Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder Sammy Sosa, Dominican former professional baseball shortstop Miguel Tejada, and Venezuelan former professional baseball shortstop Omar Vizquel.

More than 400 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from theBBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by December 31 and results will be announced January 22, 2019. Voters must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years.

Here’s a look at the players on this year’s ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Hall of Fame Ballot List

  • Rick Ankiel
  • Jason Bay
  • Lance Berkman
  • Barry Bonds
  • Roger Clemens
  • Freddy García
  • Jon Garland
  • Travis Hafner
  • Roy Halladay
  • Todd Helton
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jeff Kent
  • Ted Lilly
  • Derek Lowe
  • Edgar Martínez
  • Fred McGriff
  • Mike Mussina
  • Darren Oliver
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Juan Pierre
  • Plácido Polanco
  • Manny Ramírez
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Scott Rolen
  • Curt Schilling
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Billy Wagner
  • Larry Walker
  • Vernon Wells
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Michael Young

Luis Gonzalez to Serve as Pallbearer at Sen. John McCain’s Memorial Service

Luis Gonzalez will play a special role at the memorial service for the late U.S. Senator John McCain.

The 50-year-old Cuban-American former Major League Baseball outfielder, an Arizona sports legend, will serve a pallbearer at Thursday’s service.

Luis Gonzalez

Gonzalez, who spent his best years with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was one of the most popular players in the organization’s history, released a statement after the death of McCain, praising the senator’s patriotism and friendship.

“Senator McCain was not only a great man and patriot but also a loyal D-backs fan. I’m proud to have called him a dear friend. On behalf of my entire family, our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the McCain family,” tweeted Gonzalez, who shot a television ad supporting McCain’s reelection bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

McCain, an avid Arizona sports fan, died Saturday at age 81.

Thursday’s ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. ET at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix. About 1,000 seats were made available to the public.

Luis Gonzalez

Gonzalez, nicknamed “Gonzo“, had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to clinch the Diamondbacks’ first and only World Series championship to date.

He was a five-time MLB All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2001.

Cabrera Named Player of the Year at Major League Baseball Players Choice Awards

Miguel Cabrera is getting some serious respect from his fellow Major League Baseball players…

The 30-year-old Venezuelan baseball star and Detroit Tigers slugger has won his second consecutive player of the year award in voting by his fellow major leaguers.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera followed his historic Triple Crown season of 2012 with another impressive year. He led the American League with a .348 average and had 44 homers and 137 RBIs, both second to Baltimore Orioles star Chris Davis. Cabrera edged Davis and the Angels’ Mike Trout for the honor.

Retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted Marvin Miller man of the year for excellence on and off the field, and Rivera was also picked as the AL’s comeback player of the year, notching 44 saves after missing most of 2012 with a knee injury. Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano was selected the National League‘s comeback player.

For the second consecutive year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player. Cabrera was selected AL outstanding player.

Other awards Monday night went to Detroit’s Max Scherzer (AL outstanding pitcher), the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (NL outstanding pitcher), Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers (AL outstanding rookie) and Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez (NL outstanding rookie).

Rivera Named All-Star Game MVP

He’s considered the greatest closer of all time in Major League Baseball… And, now Mariano Rivera is also an All-Star MVP.

The 43-year-old Panamanian baseball star, who has played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees, was named the Most Valuable Player at the 84th All-Star Game on Tuesday night, as the American League blanked the National League 3-0.

Mariano Rivera

When Rivera came out of the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning of the game, his AL teammates stayed next to the dugout, leaving Rivera – who will be retiring after this season – on the field alone to soak up the applause from the crowd.

“I was standing right there watching,” said Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “It was pretty cool. I had goosebumps the whole time. I’m sure a lot of people did.”

Rivera tipped his cap to all sides of Citi Field, then started his warmup throws.

He went on to pitch a perfect inning, throwing 16 cutters. Catcher Salvador Perez threw an arm across Rivera’s shoulders as they walked off the field.

The historic moment was part of a nearly flawless performance by 10 American League pitchers in their victory over the National League, which was was held to three hits and a walk.

Rivera won the Ted Williams Award as the game’s most valuable player, the first pitcher to be so honored since Pedro Martinez in 1999. He’s also is the oldest player to win.

“I wanted to come to the game and since this will be my last one, I wanted to enjoy and be able to pitch for the last time in the All-Star Game,” Rivera said. “The rest was indescribable.”

The AL snapped a three-game losing streak in the game. The NL leads the series, 43-39-2.

New York Mets Honor Crosstown Rival Rivera

It’s an unexpected and touching tribute for the man called “the best closer in Major League Baseball history”…

Mariano Rivera, the 43-year-old Panamanian New York Yankees pitcher, was honored this week by his team’s crosstown rivals.

Mariano Rivera

The New York Mets honored him at Citi Field by having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch before their game against the Yankees. Before that, the Mets played a video tribute to Rivera which closed with the words, “Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career.”

Baseball may not see another player like Rivera in a long time… That’s why the Mets and other teams in the league are honoring him in various ways this season.

Rivera announced in spring training that this season would be his last.

“It has been great, everywhere I’ve been this year. And tonight everything was great — until the ninth,” said Rivera, who blew a save during the game.

David Wright and Lucas Duda hit RBI singles off Rivera in the ninth inning, and the Mets rallied past the Yankees 2-1 to beat baseball’s all-time saves leader only hours after honoring him.

It was the first blown save of his farewell season after he had converted 18 straight chances.

“Hopefully, it’s the last one,” said Rivera, who holds the MLB record for career saves at 626.

Rivera is a 12-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion.

Yankees Pitcher Rivera Says He’ll Be Ready on Opening Day…

He only made nine appearances last season due to a knee injury… But Mariano Rivera is going into next season with high hopes.

The 43-year-old Panamanian baseball pitcher, who signed a one-year, $10 million deal to return to the pitching mound for the New York Yankees, says he’ll be ready to pitch on Opening Day.

Mariano Rivera

Rivera, speaking to reporters this week at the Yankees’ annual holiday food drive, said he’s “feeling good” as he continues to rehab a torn ACL.

“Oh, yeah, I don’t see why not,” Rivera told the New York Daily News about being ready for the Major League Baseball opener on April 1.

“We have at least three months, four months until that point. I’ll be ready,” said Rivera, who suffered the injury in May.

He told the Daily News he hasn’t started throwing regularly but recently lobbed the ball off the mound during a commercial shoot.

“My arm is good,” Rivera told the Daily News. “Everything else feels good. I will start throwing a baseball pretty soon.”

“The leg’s getting stronger and stronger,” Rivera told the Daily News. “You have to give it time. I’m doing my part and time is doing its part.”

Rivera Seals the (One-Year) Deal with the New York Yankees…

It’s official… Mariano Rivera is heading back to the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium

The 43-year-old Panamanian relief pitcher has finalized a one-year deal with the New York Yankees reportedly worth a guaranteed $10 million. With incentives, Rivera’s paycheck could come close to the $15 million he was paid last year if he can stay healthy all season long.

Mariano Rivera

Rivera made only nine appearances in 2012. His season ended with him writhing on the warning track in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on May 3 after tearing the ACL in his right knee while catching batting practice flies.

“Like I’ve been saying, I didn’t want to go out like that,” Rivera said in a statement released by the team. “I didn’t want that to be the last image.”

In Rivera’s absence last season, Rafael Soriano stepped onto the mound and saved 42 games in 46 opportunities.

But Soriano opted out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent, leaving the Yankees with one option: Rivera, the man who has saved more games (608) than any closer in the history of baseball and a pitcher widely considered to be the best at his job in the history of the game.

Likewise, Rivera had made it clear that he had no interest in pitching for any other team but the Yankees, for whom he has pitched his entire 17-year major league career.

In his nine appearances before his injury last season, Rivera was 1-1 with five saves — he had a blown save on Opening Day and was perfect thereafter — with an ERA of 2.16. He allowed just two earned runs, both of them in the opening day loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, in 8 1/3 innings pitched.

Before last season, Rivera had strung together four straight seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA, and his career ERA of 2.21 is the second-lowest in baseball history among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched since the stat became official in 1913.

But in 2013, he will be trying to do what no relief pitcher has ever done before, be an effective closer after his 43rd birthday. Among the 10 pitchers with the most saves in baseball history, only one, Dennis Eckersley, had a save after he turned 43, and all he had was one.

Rodriguez & Rivera Go to Bat for “Bully”

The Major League Baseball season may have just gotten underway last week… But that hasn’t stopped New York Yankees stars Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera from showing their support for the documentary Bully.

Alex Rodriguez & Mariano Rivera

Rodriguez and Rivera joined fellow players Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, as well as the team’s manager Joe Girardi, for a special public service announcement to urge the audience to sign on to a website for the film and its Bully Project petition.

Directed by filmmaker Lee Hirsch, Bully follows several middle school students from around the country during one school year and documents bullying and the middle school environment. In one scene, shot in Sioux City, Iowa, middle school student Alex Libby is taunted by classmates on the school bus; another shows an LGBT teen in Oklahoma who faces bullying over her decision to come out. The film also follows the family of Georgia teen Tyler Long in the year following his suicide after he was bullied in middle school.

The film provoked controversy when the MPAA originally gave the movie an R rating, citing the language used in the film. That decision was later overturned after a national letter-writing campaign.

Rodriguez, Rivera and their Yankees teammates join a growing list of celebrities who have spoken out against bullying, including Victoria Justice and Wilmer Valderrama.

Bully opens in theaters around the country on Friday.

Rays Star Peña Hits Game-Winning RBI Against Yankees

Earlier this year, the Tampa Bay Rays brought Carlos Peña back to the team with a lucrative one-year contract… Well, it looks like it was money well spent!

In the team’s season-opening game against the New York Yankees, the 33-year-old Dominican baseball star not only hit a grand slam against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, but he hit a game-winning RBI against closer Mariano Rivera.

Carlos Pena

“Your heart starts racing in that moment and you try to control yourself as much as possible,” Peña said. “I tried to slow myself down and breathe and take it one pitch at a time, as easy as you can possibly make it. Instead of building the situation up you try to bring it down.”

Peña’s spectacular hitting lifted the Rays to a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Friday. In all, he finished 3 for 5 with five RBIs in his return to the Rays after a year with the Chicago Cubs. All that after a spring in which he hit .107 and struggled so much that manager Joe Maddon initially penciled him into the No. 7 spot in the batting order for the opener before shifting the slugger into the sixth spot.

Peña, who was 0 for 11 lifetime against Rivera, won it by driving a 1-2 pitch off the base of the wall in left-center field for his fifth RBI of the game.

“He’s the greatest closer in the history of the game and we all know that,” Pena said of Rivera. “He has that illusion in his ball. You swing where the ball is at and it’s not there anymore. He has perplexed hitters throughout his career. He’s the best closer in baseball, and that’s for a reason.”

Earlier in the game, Peña brought the sellout crowd of 34,078 to its feet in the bottom of the first inning when he sent a 3-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his eighth career grand slam.

Posada Ending His Baseball Career?

Jorge Posada may just have caught his last baseball at Yankee Stadium

The 40-year-old professional baseball star is reportedly planning to retire after 17 seasons with the New York Yankees rather than pursue opportunities with other teams.

Jorge Posada

A person familiar with Posada’s decision told The Associated Press on Saturday that the five-time All-Star catcher will announce his retirement this month. The free agent instructed his sports agents not to make calls on his behalf this offseason, according to a source.

Posada won five World Series titles with the team that picked him up in the 24th round of the 1990 draft. He became a free agent after a trying season in New York, the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract.

Posada’s retirement leaves shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera as the two remaining players from the core group that led the Yankees to four World Series championships from 1996-2000 and one more in ’09. Andy Pettitte retired after the 2010 season.

Only Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra have caught more games in pinstripes than Posada (1,574).

He likely will receive strong Hall of Fame consideration after finishing with a career batting average of .273 and producing 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs in 1,829 games.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.