Great Baseball Nicknames: ‘Sandman’- Mariano Rivera. There are still baseball nicknames but they just don’t seem to be as creative/ good as they used to be. A fairly modern one which I do like is the nickname for the New York Yankees Hall of Fame relief pitcher- Mariano Rivera- Sandman. Rivera pitched for the NY Yankees from 1995-2013 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame -becoming the first player ever to receive 100 % of the vote. Rivera who is the all time leader in saves- is considered by most to be the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history. The nickname ‘Sandman’- because when he came into a game it was usually good night for hitters.