Mariano RiveraS

One of the most dominant relief pitchers ever to play the game, unflappable Rivera has been the Yankees' star closer for more than a decade.

A native of Panama, where his father was a fisherman, Rivera grew up using a milk carton as a baseball glove. Signed by a Yankees scout in Panama in 1990, Rivera debuted with the Yankees in 1995. After serving as John Wetteland's setup man on the team's 1996 World Series squad, he took over the closer's job the next year and never looked back. To date, he has five World Series rings, twelve All-Star nods, and over 600 saves. Though his regular-season accomplishments are nothing to sneer at, Rivera's reputation has been made in the playoffs. Although he has remained an elite closer into the 21st century, he's had a couple of memorable missteps. Most famously, he blew a save in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against Arizona and blew another in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the hated Boston Red Sox. That said, it's unlikely that the Yanks would trade closers with any team in the league, and his signature pitch-a cut fastball with late movement that is famous for shattering bats-still strikes fear into hitters.

Rivera and his wife Clara have three sons, Mariano Jr., Jafet and Jaziel. Rivera has an apartment in Manhattan and a house in Purchase, New York. (He relocated his family to New York from Panama in 2000 out of fear for their safety.) [Image via Getty]