New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, 43, announced Saturday that this will be his last season playing professional baseball. While he was with the Yankees the team won five World Series titles. Rivera hopes to end his career with one more.
Saying he made the decision before arriving at spring training, Mariano Rivera announced Saturday that he will retire at the end of the season and hopes to cap his record-setting career by winning another World Series with the New York Yankees.
Rivera was surrounded by family and teammates when he made the announcement during a news conference at the team's spring training complex.
The 43-year-old has a clear vision of how he wants his career to end.
"The last game I hope will be throwing the last pitch in the World Series," he said. "''Winning the World Series, that would be my ambition."
Rivera holds the career saves record with 608 and has helped the Yankees win five World Series titles. He is regarded as the greatest closer of all time, whether he's throwing his cut fastball in the regular season or postseason.
With the entire Yankees' team looking on — including longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte — Rivera said he knew the time was right for his decision.
"I have just a few bullets left," he said.
Rivera missed most of last year after tearing his right knee while shagging flyballs during batting practice in early May. Rivera said he would have retired at the end of last season if he had not gotten hurt.
"I didn't want to leave like that," he said. "I felt like I wanted to give everything."
He also said he wanted to give Yankees fans around the major leagues a chance to see him one more time, knowing this will be the end.
Rivera's wife and two children were by his side for the news conference. He began by playfully thanking the Yankees for giving him a new contract for two additional years through 2015 — which would break a team policy of not negotiating new deals before the old ones expire.