Rivera, Mariano, 1969–, Panamanian baseball player. A right-handed relief pitcher, he has been with the New York Yankees organization since 1990. He began (1995) his career in the majors as a lackluster starter, but within two years was the team's star closer. Extremely consistent, with superb control and a devastating cutter (cut fastball), Rivera is widely regarded as the finest closer in major-league history. He scored his 500th career save in 2009, and holds records for most postseason pitching appearances, most postseason and World Series saves, and others.