Mariano Rivera's historic week earned the Yankees closer American League Player of the Week honors, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.
The longtime Yankees closer became the all-time saves leader on Sept. 19 at Yankee Stadium, pitching a perfect ninth inning against the Twins to earn the 602nd save of his 17-year career. Rivera claimed the top spot from Trevor Hoffman, who set the mark last season.
Rivera's 602nd save came 15 years and 125 days after he recorded his first save on May 17, 1996, against the California Angels. Since then, Rivera has saved 63 more games than any other reliever, and he entered Monday with 279 more saves than any other active pitcher.
At 41, Rivera has continued to be one of the game's premier closers this season, making at least 60 appearances in a season for the 14th time in his career. He is 1-2 with a 1.92 ERA and 44 saves this season, his eighth career 40-save campaign, and is the oldest pitcher to accomplish the feat.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.