WASHINGTON D.C. — Hall of Fame pitcher, Mariano Rivera, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday at the Oval Office.
President Trump praised Rivera as “maybe the greatest pitcher of all time” in presenting the iconic New York Yankees closer with the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The 19-year MLB pitcher, Rivera was a member of five world championship teams and was named the World Series MVP in 1999.
He ranks first on the all-time saves list with 652 and was the first player to be unanimously elected to Cooperstown.
The former New York Yankee closer, Rivera, 49, grew up in a fishing village in Panama and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015. He currently serves as a co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor and Rivera followed in the footsteps of other great athletes – Tiger Woods and Jerry West – who received the award earlier this year.