Much like Chipper Jones one year ago, legendary New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made his retirement — after the upcoming season — official during spring training.
Rivera, 43, formally announced Saturday that 2013 will be his final season. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the news.
This sets up what should be a season of appreciative goodbyes in visiting stadiums, with Rivera — a one-team, one-league player — receiving similar tributes to those Jones enjoyed throughout the National League in 2012.
Rivera, the most accomplished closer in baseball history, pitched in just nine games this season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Rivera had hinted that the 2012 season would be his last in the majors before he suffered the injury. But he returned to the Yankees for this season on a one-year contract worth around $10 million.
Rivera’s 608 saves and 892 games finished are the most all-time. He’s had an ERA below 2.20 in nine of the last 10 years while achieving his greatest successes in the postseason, where he has a career 8-1 record, 0.70 ERA and 42 saves.