Baseball's all-time saves leader has become the game's first unanimous Hall of Fame selection. Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera received all 425 votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
He had 652 regular-season saves during his 19-year career spent entirely with the Yanks. He was at his best in October, getting 42 saves with a 0.70 ERA over 16 postseasons, including 11 saves in the World Series. The Hall's Class of 2019 also includes Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez.
Mussina was a steady right-hander for the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles who went 270-153 with 2,813 strikeouts over 18 seasons. He received 76.7 percent, getting seven more votes than the 319 required for election.
Halladay was an ace with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, going 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA. The right-hander received 85.4 percent of the vote and will be the first posthumous inductee since Deacon White in 2013 and Ron Santo in 2012.
Martinez was a .312 hitter with 309 home runs and 1,261 over 18 seasons with Seattle. He got 85.4 percent in his 10th and final try on the writers' ballot.
The quartet will be enshrined in Cooperstown along with Today's Game Era Committee selections Harold Baines and Lee Smith on July 21. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens made gains but again fell short in their seventh time on the ballot. Bonds got 59.1 percent and Clemens 59.5.
In other MLB news, All-Star outfielder Nick Markakis has accepted a significant pay cut to remain with the Atlanta Braves, accepting a one-year, $6 million package with a club option for 2020. The 35-year-old Markakis made the 2018 All-Star game and earned both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger honors last season, hitting .297 with 14 homers and 93 RBIs while starting all 162 games in right field. He took a package with a $4 million salary this season and a $2 million buyout after receiving only minor interest on the open market.
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Rangers and free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera have worked out a one-year, $3.5 million contract. The 12-year veteran split last season between the Mets and Phillies in 2018, hitting .262 with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs.
Infielder Gordon Beckham has agreed to a minor league contract with the Tigers and was invited to major league spring training.
The Athletics have claimed right-hander Parker Bridwell off waivers from the Angels. The 27-year-old Bridwell went 1-0 with a 17.55 ERA in five games with the Angels last season, missing four months over two stints with an inflamed right elbow.
Two people with direct knowledge of the NFL's plans tell The Associated Press that the league's competition committee will consider expanding replay reviews to include certain penalties, including pass interference. Officiating once more became a hot topic during Sunday's NFC championship game. A missed call by referee Bill Vinovich's crew of a blatant pass interference penalty and helmet-to-helmet hit by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis likely cost New Orleans a spot in the Super Bowl. Saints coach Sean Payton said NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron told him afterward that a flag should have been thrown.
Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome each scored power-play goals before Toews and Patrick Kane tallied in a shootout to send the Blackhawks past the Islanders, 3-2. Matthew Barzal and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Isles, who ended a five-game winning streak but increased their lead in the Metropolitan Division to three points over Washington and Columbus.
Elsewhere on NHL ice, not even a hat trick by Alex Ovechkin can save the Washington Capitals these days. The defending Stanley Cup champions suffered their season-high sixth straight loss by blowing a two-goal lead in the third period of a 7-6 overtime setback against the Sharks. The Caps were one second away from a regulation victory until Evander Kane scored his second goal of the night. Tomas Hertl completed his own hat trick by beating Braden Holtby 1:48 into OT. Joe Pavelski provided a goal and three assists, while Logan Couture had a goal and three points as San Jose ended a three-game losing streak. Ovechkin's league-leading 36th goal put the Caps ahead 6-4 with 14:08 left in regulation. It was his 23rd career three-goal game.
The Flames pulled out a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes on Mikael Backlund's goal just 15 seconds into overtime. Backlund also assisted on Jankowski's go-ahead goal in the second period, but Sebastian Aho tied it with 44 seconds left in regulation before Calgary moved to 8-0-1 in its last nine games.
Luke Glendening scored twice and the Red Wings ended a two-game skid by beating the Oilers, 3-2 at Edmonton. Dylan Larkin also tallied and Jimmy Howard made 32 saves as Detroit handed Edmonton its third consecutive loss.
Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice and assisted on Derek Stepan's eventual game-winner as the Coyotes downed the Senators' 3-2 at Ottawa. Darcy Kuemper stopped 25 shots in helping Arizona improve to 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
In NHL news, there is still a chance San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson takes part in NHL All-Star Weekend despite missing the final three games before the break with an injury. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer says Karlsson went back to California for more tests on what the team is calling a lower-body injury. DeBoer says Karlsson wants to take part in the skills competition Friday and the All-Star 3-on-3 tournament Saturday night but won't risk doing any more damage to the injury.
Serena Williams' bid for a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam will have to resume at the French Open. One point from a berth in the semifinals, Williams dropped the last six games in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 loss to seventh seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open. Williams had match point when she turned her left ankle, giving Pliskova new life. Pliskova also fought off four match points in continuing a quest for her first major championship. The meltdown ruined a shot at a U.S. Open final rematch between Williams and Naomi Osaka.
The fourth-seeded Osaka reached the semis at Melbourne for the first time with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over No. 6 Elina Svitolina. Osaka used her aggressive style and big hitting to compile a 31-11 edge in winners, including eight aces. The other women's semifinal will be two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova against unseeded American Danielle Collins.
The Toronto Raptors have regained a half-game lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference despite being four percentage points behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet each scored 19 points in the Raptors' 10th consecutive home win, a 120-105 rout of the Kings. Pascal Siakam chipped in 18 points to help Toronto win for the eighth time in nine games overall despite playing without Kawhi Leonard. Serge Ibaka contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds while Leonard was given the first of two straight games off to rest his legs.
Checking out Tuesday's other NBA action, Oklahoma City picked up its third straight win as Paul George poured in 36 points and Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double in a 123-114 decision over the Trail Blazers. Westbrook had 29 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Thunder move into third place in the Western Conference.
The Mavericks knocked off the Clippers, 106-98 as Dennis Smith Jr. had 17 points and eight rebounds in his return after a week away from the team amid trade talk. Rookie Luka Doncic matched Smith with 17 points, including a key jumper with Dallas hanging on to a late lead in just its third win in 10 games.
Karl-Anthony-Towns had 25 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists in the Timberwolves' 118-91 thrashing of the Suns. Josh Okogie added a career-high 21 points in Minnesota's second win over Phoenix in three days.
In NBA news, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has been fined $10,000 for kicking the ball into the stands, which led to his ejection from a game against Indiana. Doncic kicked the ball after a basket by the Pacers late in the third quarter of their 111-99 victory over the Mavericks on Saturday night. Because he received a technical earlier in the game, his second technical resulted in the first ejection of his career.
Meanwhile, Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith has returned after a week away from the team amid trade rumors and his reduced role amid the emergence of Doncic. Rick Carlisle wouldn't get into reasons for Smith's absence Tuesday, but he said during his radio show last week that he believed the second-year player was being told to stay away while the team listened to offers.
T25 MEN'S BASKETBALL
Noah McCarty gave Northern Illinois a 77-75 upset win over No. 15 Buffalo by banking in a game-winning basket with two seconds to play. Dante Thorpe scored 23 points and Eugene German added 20 for the Huskies.
In other top-25 finals, Fifth-ranked Michigan barely managed to escape their second straight loss since a 17-0 start. Charles Matthews nailed a baseline floater at the buzzer to lift Michigan to a 59-57 win over Minnesota. The basket came after the Golden Gophers scored 10 straight points to tie the game. Izzy Brazdeikis scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half after being held scoreless in Saturday's loss to Wisconsin.
Zion Williamson hit his first 10 shots on his way to 25 points in second-ranked Duke's 79-64 win at Pittsburgh. Fellow freshman RJ Barrett scored 26 for the 16-2 Blue Devils, while Williamson finished 11 of 13 from the floor to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.
Third-ranked Virginia coasted to a 68-45 win over Wake Forest after opening the game on a 25-3 run. Kyle Guy and Jay Huff each had 12 points as the Cavaliers rebounded from their only loss of the season Saturday at Duke.
PJ Washington scored 21 points on 9 of 15 from the field and grabbed six rebounds as eighth-ranked Kentucky ripped No. 22 Mississippi State, 76-55. Tyler Herro shot 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 5-for-5 from the line to finish with 18 points and help the Wildcats improve to 5-1 in the SEC.
No. 14 Texas Tech dropped its third in a row as Barry Brown Jr. had 15 points and Dean Wade had 13 to send Kansas State to a 58-45 victory over the Red Raiders. The Wildcats held Texas Tech to 33-percent shooting and never let the Red Raiders get their offense rolling.
Felipe Haase drained a 3-pointer with 30.3 seconds left to put South Carolina ahead for good in an 80-77 win against No. 16 Auburn. Chris Silva had a career-high 32 points for the Gamecocks, who blew a 10-point lead in the second half and trailed by two until Haase hit his go-ahead shot.
Eric Paschall scored 23 points and 18th-ranked Villanova made 12 3-pointers to pull away from Butler, 80-72. Phil Booth added 17 points as the Wildcats earned their seventh straight win since falling to Kansas on Dec. 15.
John Petty scored 15 points off the bench and Donta Hall added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as Alabama hammered No. 20 Mississippi, 74-53. The Crimson Tide closed the first half on a 17-3 run to carry a 16-point lead into the break.
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