NEW YORK - CIRCA 2001 : Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Diamondbacks won the series 4 games to 3. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

3 Reasons Mariano Rivera Should Be the First Ever Unanimous Hall of Famer

Anyone who watched the career of Mariano Rivera knows that he is a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer. Come on.

Despite being a shoo-in to be elected this summer, no player has ever been a unanimous selection for Cooperstown, as there always seem to be a few voters who leave worthy players off their ballot...just because. 

Well, no more. Rivera will be baseball's first unanimous Hall of Fame selection.

3. Respect Throughout the League Without Reservations

One of the biggest hurdles to making it to the Hall of Fame, especially if you played a majority of your career during the steroid era, is avoiding being linked to PEDs. Players that have been linked to steroids have been elected in the past, but it usually takes more time on the ballot.

This will not affect Rivera, though, because no one believes that he ever took any kind of steroids. It also helps that Rivera is an ambassador for the game and is well-respected wherever he travels in the baseball community. That respect and admiration for Rivera as a person instead of as a player will be huge in his election to Cooperstown.  

As silly as it is, carrying on a great reputation with the press can be the key here. You'll never find someone saying a bad word against Mo.

2. Postseason Success

The most important thing about a Hall of Fame relief pitcher is that they were great when their teams needed them the most, in October. Rivera played on some of the greatest New York Yankees teams ever constructed and won five World Series rings over the course of his 19-year career. 

Rivera won the 1999 World Series MVP and also won the 2003 ALCS MVP for his great playoff pitching performances. Throughout his career, Rivera pitched in 146 innings across 96 playoff games and he only allowed two home runs during that time. Overall, Rivera had a minuscule 0.70 career postseason ERA.

More men have walked on the moon than have scored off Rivera in the postseason.

1. Greatest Closer of All Time

The most important reason that Rivera should be the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection is because he was the greatest closer in MLB history, bar none. Rivera is the all-time saves leader in the MLB with is 652 saves and his 205 ERA+ is the best ever among all starters and relievers alike. There has never been a relief pitcher as consistently excellent as Rivera, which is why he should have his name called to Cooperstown immediately and unanimously.