|Pericos de Puebla – No. 96|
November 14, 1973 |
La Chorrera, Panama
|September 3, 1995, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 28, 2003, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Runs batted in||203|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rubén Rivera Moreno (born November 14, 1973) is a Panamanian professional baseball player for the Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican Baseball League. He played Major League Baseball for five different teams, from 1995 to 2003. His cousin, Mariano Rivera, was the former long-time closer for the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, he won the 1996 World Series over the world champion Atlanta Braves.
New York Yankees (1990–1997)
Rivera was signed by the New York Yankees in 1990. He made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Yankees in 1992 and his major league debut with the Yankees on September 3, 1995. Rivera was highly touted as a prospect, being ranked as high as second overall amongst prospects by Baseball America in 1995, third in 1996, and ninth in 1997.
San Diego Padres (1997–2000)
On April 22, 1997, he was traded with pitcher Rafael Medina and US $3 million to the San Diego Padres for infielder Homer Bush and minor leaguer Gordon Amerson and two players to be named later, who turned out to be the highly anticipated Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu and minor leaguer Vernon Maxwell. It was supposed to be a deal to help both teams, but Irabu was a major disappointment for the Yankees, and Rivera turned out to be at least a minor disappointment for the Padres, as he was never able to get on base on a regular basis during his four seasons in the Padres organization, mostly with the parent team (including as a starter in 2000 and 2001), and his considerable power did not sufficiently compensate for that major failing. He was released shortly before the 2001 season.
Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers & San Francisco Giants (2001–2006)
The Cincinnati Reds signed Rivera for the 2001 season, but he did not perform any better for the Reds in a reserve role than he did the Padres. They waived him after the season, and the San Francisco Giants picked him up, but released him a month later without his having played a game for them.
Early in 2002, the Yankees signed him as a free agent, but released him during spring training after Rivera took teammate Derek Jeter's glove and bat, and then sold them to a sports memorabilia dealer, reportedly for $2,500. After this became known, his teammates allegedly voted him off the team, and the Yankees released him. When the incident became public, Rivera apologized but criticized the team after being removed.
The Texas Rangers signed him for the 2002 season. He performed poorly for them in a reserve role and was released immediately following the season.
In 2003, Rivera re-joined the Giants as a free agent. He was involved in an infamous baserunning gaffe in a 13-inning 4–3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Pacific Bell Park on May 27. Representing the potential winning run as a pinch runner for Andrés Galarraga at first base with a 2–2 score and one out, Rivera advanced to second base but reversed course two steps beyond it thinking that the ball hit by Marquis Grissom to deep right-center field was caught by right fielder David Dellucci. Realizing that Dellucci had muffed the ball for an error, he ran past second base, returned to retouch it, headed to third and attempted to score when second baseman Junior Spivey's relay throw bounced off third baseman Alex Cintrón's glove and towards shortstop Tony Womack, who threw out the sliding Rivera at home plate. Rivera's actions were proclaimed by Giants broadcaster Jon Miller as "the worst baserunning in the history of the game." Rivera was released a week later, after hitting only .180 in 50 at bats.
Rivera signed with the Baltimore Orioles in July 2003, and played for them in the minors. The Chicago White Sox signed Rivera to play for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights for 2006, where despite hitting 16 home runs, he batted only .239.
Mexican League (2007–present)
World Baseball Classic (2006, 2009)
- Baseball Prospectus 1996 - New York Yankees
- BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: All-Time Top 100 Prospects
- "To catch a thief: Rivera released, accused of stealing from Jeter's locker". SportsIllustrated.com. Sports Illustrated. March 12, 2002. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- "Rivera admits to stealing Jeter's glove". ESPN. Reuters. March 13, 2002. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- San Francisco Giants 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (13); Tuesday, May 27, 2003 (N) at Pacific Bell Park – Retrosheet.
- Snyder, Matt. "Happy anniversary: Ruben Rivera with 'worst baserunning' ever," CBSSports.com, Monday, May 27, 2013.
- "Transactions". The New York Times. July 4, 2003.