Mariano Riveria is a former MLB closer for the New York Yankees who played for the team for 19 seasons spanning from 1995 to 2013. He is a 13x All-Star and 5x World Series Champion. On top of his already lengthy accomplishments, Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2019. Rivera won five American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Awards and he finished in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young Award four times. He was known to many in the baseball world as the most metally tough teammate and competitor in the game.
With his presence at the end of games, signaled by his foreboding entrance song "Enter Sandman," Rivera was a key contributor to the Yankees' success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. An accomplished postseason performer, he was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP, and he holds several postseason records, including lowest ERA (0.70) and most saves (42).
In 2013, the Yankees retired his uniform number 42; he was the last major league player to wear the number full-time, following its league-wide retirement in honor of Jackie Robinson. In 2014, MLB named its AL Reliever of the Year Award in Rivera's honor.
Off the diamond Riviera was a philanthropic man who twice received the ROBIE Humanitarian Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation and was voted the 25th most generous celebrity by the Giving Back Fund. For his philanthropy, Rivera received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in September 2019. He is also the founder of the Mariano Rivera Foundation, which aids young people from impoverished families focusing on educational programs and scholarships for the betterment of their future. Riviera has also been a part of political commissions fighting against the opioid epidemic as well as a motivating voice for those that feel their obstacles are too large to overcome.