Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 21: Halfway to Immortality

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

The then-Devil Rays were the victims of career saves No. 300 and 301 for Mariano Rivera.(AP)
Mariano Rivera converted a career-high 53 saves in 57 chances in 2004, but it was saves 17 and 18 of the season that officially brought him halfway to immortality in more ways than one.

No. 17 came on May 28, as he worked around a leadoff single by Aubrey Huff to shut Tampa Bay down and protect a 7-5 win, earning himself his 300th career save – a plateau that at the time less than two dozen men had ever reached.

The next night, Rivera once again came on in the ninth and shut down the Rays, this time in order, to get career save No. 301 – exactly half of what he eventually needed to break the all-time record – and No. 18 on the season, the nominal halfway point of a streak that saw him reach 35 in a row that season.

And to think, at 34 years old, he was still only getting better.

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