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Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 18: Giving it 33 percent

09/06/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mariano Rivera recorded his 200th career save on August 1, 2001.(AP)
In a 2001 season that saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for Mariano Rivera, perhaps his most notable positive highlight came during a Wednesday night slugfest in the Bronx.

Entering the game with a two-run lead and one out in the eighth, Rivera mowed through the heart of the Texas Rangers’ order, with a Tino Martinez error on Rafael Palmeiro’s two-out grounder in the ninth the only blemish. That wasn't even much of a blemish, as Mo quickly got Ivan Rodriguez to ground out and end the game, and while it looked like just another multi-inning save, the 35th of what would be an AL-leading 50 saves that season for Rivera gave him an even 200 for his career.

Less than five full seasons into life as “The Sandman,” Rivera was now a third of the way (give or take a decimal) to the magic number that would eventually cement his destiny as the greatest closer of all-time.

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