42 For 42: Mariano Rivera’s 33rd Greatest Moment – Mo Gets First All-Star Game Save In 1997
Mariano Rivera was in the middle of his first season as a full time closer in 1997 and he was doing well enough to warrant an appearance in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cleveland. It was his first All-Star Game appearance, his first All-Star Game save, and it is the number 33 moment of our countdown.
Rivera made quick work of the National League lineup in the ninth inning, striking out Charles Johnson, inducing a groundball to first base from Mark Grace, and getting a line out from Moises Alou to end the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, securing a 3-1 win for the American League.
By the way, isn’t it weird seeing Mariano Rivera pitching out of the windup as he was in this video? He goes out of the stretch now, so to see him in the windup is a testament to just how long ago this was and how many adjustments he has made over the course of his career.
Also, please take a minute to take a look at the rosters in this game. The entertainment value of running down each team’s lineup and counting all of the guys that have come out as steroid users since then is well worth the little bit of extra time. And if we can also just take a moment to remember that Jeff Cirillo was once an All-Star, that’d be great too.
This was the first of Rivera’s nine All-Star Game appearances, in which he has never conceded an earned run. This is yet another amazing feat in the unbelievable career of Mariano Rivera.