One Hall of Famer after another was introduced onto the stage, one more impressive than the next. Legendary pitchers and home run hitters.
Ken Griffey Jr. followed by Greg Maddux, followed by Hank Aaron.
None of them, however, can ever say what Mariano Rivera now can. He’s a unanimous member of Cooperstown, the first ever player to get into the Hall of Fame by receiving a vote from all 425 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America in his first year on the ballot.
“To the baseball writers, thank you for voting for me and making me a Hall of Famer,” Rivera said during his 25-minute speech to close out the steamy and emotional afternoon. “Thank you for all your support.”
Classy as usual, Rivera thanked everyone who had a hand in this accomplishment, from coaches and teammates to family members and friends. He hardly talked about his own accomplishments.
He singled out his longtime Yankees teammates Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez, all in attendance, and late team owner George Steinbrenner. He thanked Yankees fans for always pushing him to be his best, and even booing him on occasion.
“It’s a privilege and honor to be part of one organization,” he said. “I did it with dignity, honor and pride. I tried to carry the pinstripes the best I could. I think I did all right with that.”
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SOURCE: New York Post, Zach Braziller