|Rieleros de Aguascalientes – No. 14|
November 14, 1973 |
La Chorrera, Panama
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 3, 1995 for the New York Yankees|
(through 2010 season)
|Runs batted in||203|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rubén Rivera Moreno (born November 14, 1973) is a Panamanian professional baseball player, who is currently an outfielder for the Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen of the Mexican 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.
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,1 being ranked as high as second overall amongst prospects by Baseball America in 1995, third in 1996, and ninth in 1997.2
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.
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 $2,500.3 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.4
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. On May 27, he was involved in what Giants broadcaster Jon Miller described as "the worst baserunning in the history of the game": while running from first to third on a fly ball hit to deep right-center field, Rivera retreated to second twice—once because he thought the ball was caught, and a second time when he missed second base while advancing—and was subsequently thrown out trying to score. 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.5 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.
- 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.