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09/26/2011 3:50 PM ET
Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees named the American League Player of the Week
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New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been named American League Player of the Week for the period ending September 25th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

With a perfect ninth inning on Monday, September 19th at Yankee Stadium, Rivera closed out the Yankees' 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins for his 43rd save of the season and the 602nd save of his 17-year career, surpassing Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball's new all-time saves leader. The right-hander's record-breaker came 15 years and 125 days after he recorded his first save on May 17, 1996 against the California Angels. In that span, Rivera has saved 63 more games than any other hurler (Hoffman - 539) and has had 279 more than any other active pitcher (Francisco Cordero - 323). In Toronto two days earlier, the Panama native tied Hoffman with his 601st career save when he finished a 7-6 Yankees victory over the Blue Jays. It was Rivera's 60th appearance of the season, marking the 14th time in his career that he has reached that plateau and surpassing former teammate Mike Stanton for the most seasons in baseball history with at least 60 games pitched.

Over his career, the 12-time All-Star has converted 89.3 percent of his 675 save opportunities, and since April 21, 2007 he has converted 190-of-205 (92.7%) chances, the best ratio in baseball over that span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rivera's career 2.21 ERA is the second-lowest all-time among pitchers with at least 1,000.0 innings pitched since earned runs became an official statistic in the National League in 1912 and in the American League in 1913. He narrowly trails Eddie Cicotte (2.20) and is just ahead of Jim Scott (2.26) and Babe Ruth (2.28). Heading into play today, Rivera is 1-2 with a 1.92 ERA and 44 saves in 63 games. With his eighth career 40-save season, the 41-year-old has become the oldest player in baseball history to record 40 saves in a season, besting Hoffman, who notched 42 saves with the San Diego Padres in 2007 at 39 years of age. This is Mariano's third career A.L. Player of the Week Award (previously accomplished on June 2, 2008 and June 28, 2009).

Other outstanding performances last week included Rivera's teammate Derek Jeter (.500, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .560 OBP); Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (.611, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1.222 SLG, .667 OBP); Minnesota Twins outfielder Ben Revere (.447, 17 H, 3 2B); and Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (.382, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R).

The winner of the American League Player of the Week, Mariano Rivera, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

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