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New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year for his going-away season, one that served as a victory lap to his brilliant 19-year career.
The award is given to the player who, in the estimation of the 30-person voting panel comprised of beat writers for MLB.com, made the most successful return to action after a season on the sidelines.
Rivera sat out most of 2012 after tearing the ACL in his right knee, but rebounded to post 44 saves with a 2.11 ERA in 64 appearances for the Yankees this season. He was also named the MVP of the 2013 All-Star Game at CitiField, and successfully converted his first 18 save opportunities of the season. Rivera amassed a major league record 652 saves during his career.
The Comeback Player of the Year was only the latest honor for Rivera this season, who was feted at every visiting ballpark the Yankees played at this season, and was presented with the Commissioner's Historic Acheivement Award before Game 2 of the World Series by commissioner Bud Selig.
Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano, who won the AL Award in 2010, was named the National League's award winner this year.