From his humble beginnings in a small Panamanian fishing village to the bright lights of Yankee Stadium, Mariano Rivera now stands alone as the greatest closer of all time with 602 career saves (MLB.com).
09/20/2011 5:46 PM ET
Big Leaguers Notebook: Sept. 20
Rivera sets career saves mark with 602
"It's a blessing," said Rivera. "I never thought I'd be doing this for so many years and be able to accomplish this record." (ESPN New York.
At the urging of his teammates, Rivera stood on the mound to enjoy the Yankee Stadium ovation.
"Oh my God," he said of the curtain call. "For the first time in my career, I'm on the mound alone. There's no one behind me, no one in front me. I can't describe that feeling because it was priceless." (The New York Times).
Said Rivera's father, who traveled from Panama to watch his son set the record, "Me siento muy content (I'm very happy)... Thank God that Mariano was able to reach this level in his career after he started out as a fisherman. I'm very proud because we come from a small fishing village. I'm proud that Mariano was able to achieve this record." (New York Daily News)
The Rays made the most of their off-day in New York City with a little Big Apple sightseeing. Cesar Ramos visited the Ground Zero memorial (Twitter), Evan Longoria was in foodie heaven at Eataly (Twitter: 1 | 2) and Kelly Shoppach snacked on a famous Shake Shack burger (Twitter).
R.A. Dickey's secret to a good physique? Captain Crunch cereal, followed by Tootsie Roll pops (Twitter). Dickey tweeted the secret recipe while enjoying breakfast with his son (Twitter) and "admiring each other's muscles." (Twitter)
The Marlins' Chris Hatcher received a very special delivery at the ballpark on Monday. First Sergeant Joseph Hjelmstad, stationed in northwest Kuwait, sent the relief pitcher a picture, a personal letter and an American flag flown on military patrol in Iraq to thank Hatcher for giving his son a baseball during a game at Wrigley Field.
Said Hatcher, whose own grandfather died in military service, "Pretty nice gesture on his part. The least I could do was flip a ball to [a kid] whose dad was about to go dodge bullets. I'm going to hang it proudly. What those guys are doing for us -- they're giving us freedom. We're worried about strikeouts. They're worried about ducking and covering." (Miami Herald)
Inspired by Fashion Week, Major Leaguers showed off their own fashion statements with Rays team letterman sweaters (Twitter), Mets rookie cheerleader outfits (Twitter) and Back to the Future-inspired Nike MAG sneakers worn by the one and only Brian Wilson (SB Nation).
Torii Hunter visited Baltimore's St. Frances Academy over the weekend to dedicate a new batting cage funded by the memorial fund named for his late Angels teammate, Nick Adenhart.
"What Nick really wanted was to get kids to really enjoy this game. That's what he loved. That was his passion. So even though he's not here, he's giving back," said Hunter of the chance to honor Adenhart and give back to the community. "Baseball has done a lot for me as far as building my dream, giving me an opportunity to help my family, get them out of poverty. There's a lot of kids out there than can do the same thing, and baseball will give them an opportunity." (Los Angeles Times)
The A's Hideki Matsui and David DeJesus joined actors Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill on the red carpet for the world premiere of Moneyball, a film chronicling general manager Billy Beane and the rise of the A's from small-market team to playoff contender. (Oakland Tribune)
Tweet of the Day: "Jack Graham wherever and whoever you are, Rawlings sent me your glove. I have to assume you have mine. Im comin for it" -- Indians reliever Vinny Pestano (@VinnieP52)
Quote of the Day: "I don't hit bloopers. I melt faces." -- "Kooky" Phillies slugger Hunter Pence (ESPN.com)