Having the greatest season of his legendary career, can Mariano Rivera lead the Yankees to their 28th championship this autumn?

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Graying and removed from a serious injury, Mariano Rivera is having the greatest season of his career.

The New York Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Although a few players shined in the Yankees triumph, Mariano Rivera deserves special attention for saving the 18th game of the season for New York.

Equaling Dennis Eckersley for fourth place with 1,071 appearances on the hill, the 43-year-old Rivera (0-0, 1.47 ERA) has now closed 18 contests in 18 opportunities.

“I think that’s why we appreciate him so much because of his consistency year in and year out,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, 48, who caught for Rivera from 1996 through 1999.

As New York sits atop the American League East with a record of 30-18, the 6-foot-2, 185 pound Rivera seems destined to have the greatest campaign of his legendary career.

Retiring in roughly five months, it is astounding that the surefire future Hall of Famer has been so effective after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee last May.

Using his famed cutter to become a 12-time All-Star and five-time AL Rolaids Relief Man Award winner, Rivera is the embodiment of class and professionalism.

Already penning a storybook ending, don’t be shocked if Mariano Rivera vacates the diamond by leading the Bombers to their 28th championship in franchise history this autumn.

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