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Rubén Rivera: Wikis

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Rubén Rivera
Outfielder
Born: November 14, 1973 (1973-11-14) (age 36)
La Chorrera, Panama
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 3, 1995 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
May 28, 2003 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Batting average     .216
Home runs     64
Runs batted in     203
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Rubén Rivera Moreno (born November 14, 1973 in La Chorrera, Panama) is a professional baseball player, who is currently an outfielder for the Venados de Mazatlán of the Mexican Pacific League. He played Major League Baseball for five different teams, from 1995 to 2003. His cousin, Mariano Rivera, is the long-time closer of the New York Yankees.

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Career and travels

Rivera was signed by the New York Yankees in 1990. 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 (who had refused to sign with the Padres, who had acquired MLB rights to him from his Japanese team, the Lotte Orions) 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.

The Cincinnati Reds signed him for the 2001 season, but he did not perform any better for the Reds in a reserve role than he did the Padres. They would waive him after the season, and the San Francisco Giants would temporarily pick him up, but would release him a month later without his having played a game for them. Early in 2002, his old team, the Yankees, signed him as a free agent, but would release him during spring training after an infamous incident (see below), and the Texas Rangers signed him for the season. He performed poorly for them in a reserve role and was released immediately following the season. Early in 2003, the Giants, who had previously briefly owned his rights, signed him as a free agent. However, following the second infamous incident involving Rivera in his career (see below), the Giants released him on June 3, 2003. 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.

For his career, Rivera finished with a .216 batting average, with a .307 on-base percentage and a .393 slugging percentage in 662 games.

Embarrassing incidents

Fairly or not, Rivera would become known for two incidents where he showed lack of judgment, one off the field and one on.

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Derek Jeter glove incident

After a 2002 spring training game, Rivera took teammate Derek Jeter's glove and bat, and then sold them to a sports memorabilia dealer, reportedly for $2,500. [1] After this became known, his teammates allegedly voted him off the team, and the Yankees front office abided by that vote and released him. When the incident became public, Rivera apologized. [2]

Baserunning gaffe

The other incident for which Rivera is known happened on the field at AT&T Park, and involved multiple errors by both Rivera and the Arizona Diamondbacks defense on May 27, 2003. With one out in the bottom of the ninth in a 2–2 game, Rivera was a pinch runner on first base for Andrés Galarraga, who had reached on a Tony Womack error. Marquis Grissom then hit a fly ball to deep right-center field, which David Dellucci misjudged; by this time, Rivera, who had gone past second base, was on his way back to first base after retouching second, believing that Dellucci would catch the ball. When he saw that Dellucci did not make the catch, Rivera decided to try for third base, but failed once again to touch second and had to retrace his steps before continuing. He would have been out easily except that Junior Spivey's relay throw bounced off the glove of Alex Cintrón, covering third base. Having reached third base, Rivera chose to go for home, but the ball bounced to Womack, and Womack threw him out by a full step at home, preventing the would-be winning run.

After Rivera was thrown out, Giants broadcaster Jon Miller commented, "That was the worst baserunning in the history of the game!"

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