1997 Bowman’s Best International Preview Atomic Refractor
For more than a decade and a half, Mariano Rivera has made a living throwing one type of pitch in one inning per game.
And in the end (maybe) all it took was one batting practice session to end his career.
Rivera reportedly suffered a torn ACL Thursday night before the Yankees game against the Royals. The games’ greatest closer was hurt fielding fly balls during batting practice, according to multiple reports.
Yeah, batting practice.
If this is the end of his career — he previously stated that this would be his final season — it’s perhaps the saddest way for things to end. His career would not have ended on the mound, but on the warning track before a game.
Over his 15-plus years of dominance, Rivera has not only collected hundreds of saves, but many fans, including those who enjoyed his baseball cards.
I am a Red Sox fan. I have said this for years. Fans of my team are supposed to hate all things associated with the Yankees. But I cannot say that I hate Mariano Rivera. You cannot hate greatness.
Anyhow, here are my five favorite Mariano Rivera cards to ever pass through my collection:
#5 – 2004 Playoff Honors Prime Signatures
#4 2012 Topps Highlights Target Red
#3 – 1998 Upper Deck International Pride
#2 – 1992 Bowman Rookie Card
#1 — 1997 Bowman’s Best International Preview Atomic Refractor