Mariano Rivera made quick work of his Hall of Fame ballot appearance, just as he did of opposing batters, and set another record when voting was announced Tuesday: for highest percentage of ballots.
No one had ever been a unanimous Hall of Fame selection, until now.
Ken Griffey Jr. held the mark for the top percentage at 99.32 when he was on 437 of 440 ballots two years ago.
Rivera set the career saves record with 652 in 19 seasons plus 42 more in the postseason. The New York Yankees didn't even wait until his final game to retire his No. 42 — he was the last player in the major leagues to wear that number, grandfathered when No. 42 was retired in honor of Jackie Robinson in 1997.
Rivera's efficiency was renowned on a Yankees' dynasty that he helped win five World Series titles: He retired the side in order in 229 of his 491 three-out saves. according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He broke the previous mark of 601 saves, set by 2018 inductee Trevor Hoffman.
Rivera made a weepy exit in September 2013, when teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte went to the mound to remove him against Tampa Bay in what turned out to be his finale. After the final out, Rivera went back to the mound where he became famous and gathered a bit of his workplace to take home.
"I wanted to get some dirt, just stay there for the last time, knowing that I ain't going to be there no more," he said.