'A Great Person': Donald Trump Praises Mariano Rivera for MLB Hall of Fame Induction

President Donald Trump praised Mariano Rivera after the former New York Yankees pitcher was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday night, the 49-year-old became the first ever player to be unanimously elected into the Hall of Fame as he appeared on all 425 ballots.

Read more: Mariano Rivera makes history as Major League Baseball unveils Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Following the induction, Trump was among those to congratulate Rivera, who spent all of his 19 seasons in the MLB with the Yankees, the team the President supports.

"Congratulations to Mariano Rivera on unanimously being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame!" he tweeted.

"Not only a great player but a great person. I am thankful for Mariano's support of the Opioid Drug Abuse Commission and @FitnessGov."

The tweet also included a video of Rivera walking onto the field to a standing ovation in 2013 at Citi Field, New York, in what was his 13th and final appearance in an All-Star Game.

The MLB's career leader in saves and game finished with 652 and 952, respectively, Rivera met Trump at the White House in 2017 as part of a listening panel discussing drug abuse and the proliferation of opioids.

As reported by USA Today, during the meeting the President asked Rivera about his propensity to break bats and reminisced about the Panamanian's cutter, describing it as the "the heaviest pitch any time".

During his playing career, Rivera's cut fastball developed a reputation for breaking bats and the fact it was often delivered at over 90 miles-per-hour made it one of the hardest pitches to hit in the league.

Left unprotected in the 1992 expansion draft, Rivera went undrafted and eventually made his debut with the New York Yankees in 1995 after spending five years in the minor leagues with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, an Rookie League affiliate of the American League giants.

Following a slow start to his MLB career, Rivera enjoyed a meteoric rise which saw him win five World Series titles and one World Series MVP crown over 19 years, before the Yankees retired his uniform number 42 at the end of his career.

Speaking after the induction, he admitted he was left shocked by the news of being voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously.

"This was just beyond my imagination," Rivera said on a conference call with reporters, as per ESPN.

"Just to be considered a Hall of Famer is an honor, but to be unanimous is just amazing."

The 49-year-old was joined into the Hall of Fame by designated hitter Edgar Martinez and starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina.

Both Martinez, who was on his final year on the ballot, and Hallady, who died in 2017 when the plane he was piloting crashed off the Florida coast, received 85.4 percent of votes, while Mussina had 76.7 percent of preferences.

Mariano Rivera
Former pitcher Mariano Rivera throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Four of the American League Divisional Series between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 9, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images
'A Great Person': Donald Trump Praises Mariano Rivera for MLB Hall of Fame Induction | Sports