New York, NY (Sports Network) - New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Francisco Liriano have been named the Comeback Players of the Year for the 2013 season.
The 43-year-old Rivera came back from a torn ACL that shelved him for the majority of the 2012 campaign to earn the American League honor. The now- retired reliever went 6-2 with a 2.11 earned run average over 64 appearances and saved 44 games, the most ever by a pitcher in his final MLB season.
Rivera's outstanding swan song began with a stretch of 18 successfully converted save chances and highlighted by being named the MVP of the AL's 3-0 victory in the All-Star Game at New York's Citi Field. The 13-time All-Star finished his brilliant career with an MLB-record 652 saves.
Liriano helped the long-suffering Pirates reach the postseason for the first time since 1992 by ranking third in the National League with a career-best 16 victories along with a 3.02 ERA in 26 starts. The hard-throwing lefty was coming off a rough 2012 season in which he went 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA with Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox.
The 30-year-old also tallied 163 strikeouts in 161 innings of work, went 8-2 with a stellar 1.26 ERA following a Pittsburgh loss and was the winning pitcher in the Pirates' 6-2 triumph over Cincinnati in the NL Wild Card Game.
Liriano became the first player to be chosen Comeback of the Year twice since the award's inception in 2005. He took home the AL award while with the Twins in 2010.