Mariano Rivera named AL Comeback Player of the Year by MLB.com

Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap to

Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap to the fans after his last game as a player at Yankee Stadium. (Sept. 26, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Mariano Rivera, even in retirement, continues to collect the hardware. Five weeks after throwing the final pitch of his 19-year career, he was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year in results announced by MLB Monday night.

Pirates lefthander Francisco Liriano took home the NL award.

The 30 team beat reporters from MLB.com selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB club).

Rivera, the all-time saves leader with 652, returned from a torn right ACL, suffered in May 2012 while shagging fly balls during batting practice in Kansas City, to save 44 games this season. Rivera went 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 64 appearances, striking out 54 and walking nine. In his 13th and final All-Star appearance, at Citi Field in July, Rivera was named MVP of the AL's 3-0 victory after pitching a perfect eighth inning, a memorable night in which both dugouts stood and applauded when he took the mound.

Rivera, 43, is one of two pitchers in MLB history to record at least one save in 18 consecutive seasons (John Franco is the other). He earned career save No. 652 Sept. 18 at Toronto and his final appearance came Sept. 26 against the Rays at the Stadium. Rivera broke down in tears when longtime teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter were sent out by Joe Girardi to remove him from the game in the ninth inning.

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