2011 HEADLINE: Mariano Rivera Becomes All-Time Save Leader
The familiar opening guitar riff and drum beat from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared, and what has become perhaps the most legendary custom in the Yankees’ rich history commenced.
As the door to the outfield bullpen opened and Mariano Rivera appeared, the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. It would grow louder still through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet another save. This one, the 602nd of his career, was one for the record books.
In preserving New York’s 6-4 victory against the Twins on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Rivera eclipsed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball’s all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, trims New York’s playoff magic number to four and the club’s magic number to win the American League East to five.
It’s the seventh time in Rivera’s illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009), as he continues to build on yet another 40-save year. Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera’s eight 40-save seasons.
It was the right-hander’s 290th save at home and 32nd against the Twins.