Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 8: Gaining Redemption

08/27/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mariano Rivera hugs Joe Girardi after closing out Cleveland in the 1998 ALCS.(AP)
Perhaps the biggest moment(s) in Mariano Rivera’s development as a postseason icon came in the 1998 American League Championship Series, as he earned redemption for a failure the year before.

Barely 12 months after a blown save in 1997 ALDS sent the Indians on the path to the World Series, Rivera was dominant in their 1998 ALCS rematch, allowing only one baserunner over 5 2/3 innings – but he really earned his keep in the final two games.

Coming into Game 5 with one out, two on, and a two-run lead in the eighth, Rivera got a key double play and then retired the side in the ninth to give the Yanks a 3-2 series lead – and two nights later, he emphatically closed out the series with a 1-2-3 nine pitch outing that put the Bombers back in the Fall Classic for the first of four consecutive years.

Redemption, thy name is Rivera.

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