Last week, I blogged about one of the best players in all of Yankee history, Babe Ruth. Today I thought that it would be more than appropriate to blog about one of the New York Yankee’s best players currently, he is a pitcher, a closer to be more specific, probably the most respected player in baseball at this time, and he is in his last season…. for those of you who haven’t guessed-it is Mariano Rivera.
Mariano Rivera (Nicknamed “Mo”) was born on November 29th, 1969 in Panama. He has played 19 seasons of Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. He is a 13-time All Star, and 5-time World Series Champion.
Today at Yankee Stadium it was “Mariano Rivera Day” in which they honored Mariano Rivera and his unbelievable career. In New York City, the Mayor, Mike Bloomberg declared today “Mariano Rivera Day” as well. Jackie Robinson’s family came to the stadium to honor MO as well. Mariano Rivera is the only player in baseball to wear the number 42-besides Jackie Robinson, and today the New York Yankees retired that number. A pinstriped “42” now hangs in Monument Park along with other Yankee icons. The New York Yankees presented Mariano Rivera with an $100,000 check for the Mariano Rivera Foundation. The Yankees also presented him with a crystal replica of his glove. Old players came out to honor the closer such as Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, and Bernie Williams. Yankee Captain, Derek Jeter, and manager, Joe Girardi presented Mo with a rocking chair made out of bats. The Band “Metallica” also came and sang “Enter Sandman” live. For those of you who don’t know, whenever Mo is called from the bullpen to come to the mound, that is the song that plays, so if you folks were on twitter today a #ExitSandman was trending. Every base had the number 42 on it as well. Mariano Rivera got on to the mound and spoke to the crowd on is overwhelming love and appreciation for them.
“To you fans, thank you for many years of support. It’s been a great run, guys. You have always been here. I will never forget that.” – Mo
“I love you guys. Thank you very much.” -Mo
And with that, the “Mariano” chanted around the Stadium.
It’s truly bittersweet that Mariano’s inspiring career is coming to an end, but all good things do. He will be missed by all the fans and will always be remembered as one of the greatest ballplayers the Yankees will ever have.