Next month, Mariano Rivera will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as the only player to receive a unanimous vote.
The former Yankees closer hopes to have company in that category as soon as next year when his teammate, Derek Jeter, is eligible on the ballot.
"I am not the person to [decide] that. But to me, if he goes in, to me he's unanimous in my book," Rivera told SNY on Tuesday at an event for eBay. "To me, Derek is a special guy, special teammate, special athlete. He always gives his best and that's what this is about. The rest, the writers and those who have the vote have the power to do that. To me, he's 100 percent unanimous."
Rivera, 49, retired in 2014 as MLB's all-time leading saves leader in the regular season (652) and postseason (42) and also holds the lowest career postseason ERA (0.70).
Despite all that, Rivera admitted he was shocked when he found out he was unanimous.
"It was an amazing feeling [to have] 425 poeople vote for me, unanimously," he said. "Sometimes you can't even get two people in the same mentality to vote for something they believe."
Rivera has been busy in the months leading up to his Hall of Fame induction and has only been able to follow the team loosely this season. Still, he is impressed with how the 2019 Yankees have been able to overcome injuries with the play from many of the younger players.
"I'm so proud and I'm so happy of what they're doing," he said. "These youngsters, these rookies that have come and have been productive … what they have done is amazing."
While Rivera's induction is just six weeks away, he says he has not given much thought on his speech yet. Instead, much of his effort has been trying to raise fundraising for the Mariano Rivera Foundation, which is planning to build a learning center in New Rochelle.
Rivera was in Manhattan on Tuesday with eBay to promote their inaugural eBay Baseball Card Hall of Fame, in which Rivera is among 10 players whose trading cards have held the highest value and had the greatest influence on baseball's cards and collectibles world. Rivera will have his own collection on eBay, and a special sweepstakes where 42 items will be auctioned off, including a VIP meet-and-greet, where 100 percent of the proceeds will directly benefit his foundation through June 16.
"Right now I'm focusing more on the learning center than anything else," he said. "I can tell you [the induction ceremony] is going to be fun. Going to Cooperstown, meeting so many players, good players, it's going to be fascinating."