Mariano Rivera became the first player to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and President Donald Trump took notice, congratulating the longtime New York Yankees closer on Twitter.
“Congratulations to Mariano Rivera on unanimously being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame! Not only a great player but a great person. I am thankful for Mariano’s support of the Opioid Drug Abuse Commission and @FitnessGov,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday night.
Rivera, baseball’s all-time saves leader, was nominated as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018 and attended a session on opioid and drug abuse in 2017.
Here’s the transcript of their exchange at that 2017 session …
- TRUMP: You know, I think you’d make $100 million a year right. I tell you, I watched for many years Mariano. I’d sit with George [Steinbrenner], and George always felt good when Mariano was —
- RIVERA: That’s right.
- TRUMP: He threw the heaviest pitch any time. I don’t know — you made the ball like — it weighed 30 pounds, right?
- RIVERA: Something like that.
- TRUMP: How about the broken bats? (Laughter.) How many broken bats?
- RIVERA: Too many.
- TRUMP: Those bats used to crack, right? Thank you. Great honor.
Trump’s tweet included a video of Rivera entering the 2013 All-Star Game to a standing ovation at Citi Field. Rivera was named MVP of the game, his 13th and final All-Star nod.