1,000 career games is impressive in any sport. To play in that many games is a testament to a player's talent, health, and commitment. To play 1,000 career games for one team is even more impressive because it points to a relationship between a player and team that goes beyond just business. It shows a mutual respect and understanding that player and organization have for each other, something that is rare in today's sports world of free agency, trades, and everything coming down to dollars and cents.
Last night, Mariano Rivera became the first pitcher in Major League history to appear in 1,000 games for one team. For a guy who is running out of records to break and needs no more recognition of his undeniable greatness, Mo got another opportunity to be recognized last night. And at 41, when he should be sitting at home, he didn't achieve this milestone as a fading former star hanging on by a thread who was just thrown out there to get the number. He achieved it the same way he has achieved almost all of his career appearances, by coming into the game in the 9th inning and pitching a shutout frame to preserve a win for his team. Congratulations, Mo. On 1,000 jobs well done.
I've slobbered all over the guy plenty on this blog, and I will continue to do so until he retires because, with all due respect to Bret Hart, Mo is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.