"It's wonderful," he said, trying to fully appreciate what had just happened.
The closer's 602 saves spoke for themselves, as did his record 42 postseason saves. He had just written his name into the Major League Baseball record books on Monday, and in this case he did so both figuratively and literally. The familiar, distinctive and ever-consistent cursive autograph Rivera had applied to so many fan baseballs over the years was now a design centerpiece in the official 602 collection of memorabilia made for this moment.
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Rivera passed Trevor Hoffman for most saves on Monday with a 1-2-3 ninth against the Twins, and the MLB.com Shop launched an expanded area of commemorative items. The special emblem designed for the occasion features that signature, which has remained as steady and obvious as his signature cutter pitch.
In addition to shirts and caps, highlights of the collection include:
Timeline collage: The Yankees' public relations department issued a postgame fact sheet on all things pertaining to Rivera's achievement, including a list of "milestone saves" -- from his first against the Angels in 1996 to this one -- finished off with a strikeout of Chris Parmelee. The official 602 collection also features the milestone list in a 14x18 wall-hanging, and it comes complete with game-used dirt and the official 602 emblem.
Signed and dated baseball. This will be hand-signed by Rivera and includes the inscription of "602 Saves" and "September 19, 2011." There also is a version that is engraved instead of inscribed. Rivera's pen typically stays on a pitching-rubber-straight baseline with flowing characters like you'll get on this ball.
Gold Coin Set. This Highland Mint 24-karat item is a limited edition, with 602 minted. One coin features his color image embedded in the center, and the other coin features the official 602 emblem.
The collection will also include items featuring imagery from the 602nd save, and fans will be able to order Getty Images photography of Rivera captured during his record pursuit at the newly launched MLB.com Photo Store at MLBPhotos.com.