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10/14/2009 6:17 PM ET
Mariano Rivera named winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year award
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Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees has been selected as the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year. This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball. The winner was announced live on MLB Network today.

Rivera went 3-3 with a 1.76 ERA and converted 44 of his 46 save opportunities in 2009, finishing the season second in the Majors with a 95.7 percent save percentage. In 66.1 innings pitched, the 39-year-old-righthander permitted 48 hits and 12 walks with 72 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .197 batting average. The 12 walks were the third-fewest in the Majors among all relievers with at least 50.0 innings pitched behind Tampa Bay's Dan Wheeler (nine) and Arizona's Chad Qualls (seven). The 10-time A.L. All-Star allowed just three earned runs over his final 40 appearances (0.68 ERA in 39.2 IP) of the season dating back to June 16th, yielding nine walks with 40 strikeouts over the stretch. Since recording blown saves in his first two chances in 2007, Mariano has converted 113 of 118 save opportunities (95.8 percent), the best ratio in the Majors over that span. Mariano, whose 526 career saves ranks second all-time behind Milwaukee's Trevor Hoffman (591), reached the 40-save plateau for the seventh time in his career, second-most all-time behind Hoffman's nine. The Panama City, Panama native appeared in 60 games for the 12th time in his career, which also ranks second all-time behind his former teammate Mike Stanton, who made 60 appearances in 13 seasons. Rivera recorded his fourth career All-Star Game save on July 14th at Busch Stadium, passing Dennis Eckersley for sole possession of first on the all-time list. This is Mariano's third Delivery Man of the Year Award, having previously won in 2005 and 2006.

Other relievers receiving votes included Joe Nathan (2-2, 2.10 ERA, 47 SV, 68.2 IP, 42 H, 22 BB, 89 SO) of the Minnesota Twins; Joakim Soria (3-2, 2.21 ERA, 30 SV, 53.0 IP, 44 H, 16 BB, 69 SO) of the Kansas City Royals; Jonathan Papelbon (1-1, 1.85 ERA, 38 SV, 68.0 IP, 54 H, 24 BB, 76 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; Heath Bell (6-4, 2.71 ERA, 42 SV, 69.2 IP, 54 H, 24 BB, 79 SO) of the San Diego Padres; and Trevor Hoffman (3-2, 1.83 ERA, 37 SV, 54.0 IP, 35 H, 14 BB, 48 SO) of the Brewers.

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