Trevor Hoffman was the first pitcher to ever record 600 saves in his career and by doing so became the greatest closer ever in the history (and future) of baseball.
"And I know, baseball fans -- baseball broadcasters -- we love to argue. So we argue, who's better? Who's the best? But there is no argument," Leitner said. "This is not a Padre broadcast bias. It's not a Padre fan bias. We know this. The only true measure of a closer is how many saves did you get. So today, without any fear of argument, I tell you that, today, the San Diego Padres retire the number of truly -- by that benchmark, the only benchmark -- the greatest closer in the history of Major League Baseball."
Another pitcher accomplished the same feat last night, but he did it second. There was no celebration for him and for good reason. No one cares.
Think about it this way. Everybody knows Roger Bannister was the first to break the 4 minute mile. They know Chuck Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier. They know Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to summit Mt. Everest. Few know the names of the countless others who have achieved these feats since.
I think Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary's sherpa, said it best:
"If it is a shame to be the second man on Mount Everest, then I will have to live with this shame."
Similarly, it appears that Mariano Rivera will have to live with the same shame.