words // Nick Engvall

These days it’s rare to see a player stick with one team throughout his career. The big dollar contracts, championship possibilities, and the trend of teams sending even their best players elsewhere when it comes to rebuilding, have all contributed to events like LeBron’s ‘The Decision’ last summer.

The New York Yankees are one of the few organizations that have been able to keep players wearing their pinstripes, even if the cost of keeping them is above market value. The commitment to players from the team, and vice versa, has resulted in one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sports. Sure, New York fans might not be as attentive when the team isn’t winning, but that doesn’t mean they’re not sporting the fan gear and Yankees fitteds through thick and thin. Besides, anybody who gets used to their team winning, will settle for nothing less.

Mo Rivera adds to his list of impressive accomplishmentsIn an era where players jump from team to team than your local taxi cabs make pitstops, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been the most dedicated of all players to put on the pinstripes in recent years. Yesterday, when Mo was called from the bullpen against the Toronto Blue Jays, it was his 1,000th appearance, all of which have come wearing a Yankees uniform. Rivera becomes the 15th pitcher to make 1,000 career appearances, but the very first in which all those appearances have come with one team. Ironically, it was Joe Girardi, the current Yankees manager, that was one of the catchers who caught Rivera back in his early years.

To go along with his 1,000 appearances, the future Hall-of-Famer already has a list of accomplishments that include 42 career playoff saves, a 0.71 playoff ERA (the lowest in MLB history), 11 All-Star appearances, and a World Series MVP award in 1999. While Rivera, at 41 years of age, and a year left on his contract, Rivera will likely take over the top spot from Trevor Hoffman before he hangs up his spikes, but along with the greatest reliever of all time will go the number 42 (Rivera is the last to wear the number worn by legend Jackie Robinson), and likely a generation of players that remain dedicated to an organization, and more importantly a fan base.