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Prez of Panama congratulates Rivera

9/20/2011

After his record-breaking save No. 602, Mariano Rivera received a text from Trevor Hoffman and a phone call from the president of his homeland of Panama.

“It is an honor,” Rivera said. “It is a privilege that the president of Panama calls you and wishes you good luck and thanks you for everything.”

After his 1-2-3 ninth against the Minnesota Twins, teammates Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez pushed Rivera out to stay on the mound alone and soak up the cheers. After that, though, Rivera didn’t overdo the celebration. He said he went to a team function for longtime trainer Gene Monahan, who is retiring. Rivera said he was happy not to be the focus.

“Everyone was talking about Geno,” Rivera said.

Rivera said he saw Hoffman’s statement when he was watching television after the save.

"I want to congratulate Mariano Rivera on settling the all-time saves record,” Hoffman said. “It's a great accomplishment and he is still going strong! I have tremendous respect for Mariano not just for his on-field accomplishments, but also for his services in the community."

Rivera returned the compliment.

“Like I said before, I have tremendous respect for him -- the way he take care of himself and the way he takes care of the game,” Rivera said.

The 41-year-old Rivera seemed genuinely relieved.

“Like I said before, I have tremendous respect for him -- the way he take care of himself and the way he takes care of the game,” Rivera said.