PLYMOUTH, MA – Like many of you, I’m a die-hard New York Yankees fan and yesterday the Yankees honored one of my favorite players to ever wear the Pinstripes, Mariano Rivera. In his last Sunday appearance at Yankee Stadium, the organization brought in some of his old teammates and coaches, retired his number, gave him a custom made rocking chair and gave him an entrance to Metallica performing his theme song, Enter Sandman, live as he entered the stadium for his ceremony.
Mariano will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game after he retires at the end of the season. He owns the all-time saves record and he’s a 13-time All Star, a 5-time World Series Champion, and a World Series MVP. What more could this man have done for the game?
Mariano Rivera will leave the game of baseball as the most respected player in the game since the turn of the millennium… and quiet possibly ever.
What other player had a farewell tour during the last season of his career? What player was given gifts from opposing organizations every time he pitched at their home park for the last time? What player has pitched into his 40’s and is still known as a hot commodity on the Fantasy Baseball market? No one, besides the GREAT Mo Rivera!
Mariano is a player that even Red Sox fans have to respect. Can I say the same about players on the Sox as a Yankee fan? No not really. Ortiz was on the juice, Pedrioa isn’t as good as Cano even though Boston fans swear he is, and Clay Buchholz was accused for cheating. Mariano is just that great. He’s legendary.
My only disappointment of the weekend’s festivities? That the Yankees were in a better position in the playoff hunt. I wish Mo could go out with another ring. Is it possible? Sure. Sadly it’s pretty unlikely.
Either way, Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time and arguably one of the best pitchers of all-time. He’s a player I will be able to tell my children that I saw him pitch in person and not only in person but I saw him pitch in his 1,000th appearance.
They’ll be naming a division of youth baseball after Mo one day, like Babe Ruth Baseball, they’ll call it Mariano Rivera Baseball. That is what he has meant to this game.
The next time I’ll see Mo in person will be in Cooperstown in four years. Thank you, Mo. For everything.
And let’s not to forget Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte, who made the final start at Yankee Stadium of his astonishing career. Believe it or not, Andy has the most wins for any starting pitcher since 1995. Pettitte was a class act and a pitcher who will be missed in Pinstripes next season, after he retires – for good – at the end of this season. Thank you Andy, for being the best starting pitcher in post-season history.
Fake Sandy Alderson, tomorrow.