Mariano Rivera played his last game ever at Yankee Stadium Thursday night, and the team sent him out in tears in what has to be one of the classiest farewells of all time.
Mariano Rivera didn’t get a horse, and he didn’t get to fulfill his dream of playing center field, instead New York sent two legends to the mound to remove Rivera from the game with two outs in the ninth.
The Yankees were losing 4-0 in the eighth when Mariano came into the game. He faced four batters and, with one out left in the game, Joe Girardi didn’t remove him, Derek Jeter and Andy Petite did.
The scene was emotional. Three Yankees legends met on the mound, all in the name of saying goodbye. Mariano Rivera broke down into tears on his way to dugout. The Yankees fans stood and cheered as an era ended.
Mariano Rivers tipped his capped, and then entered the dugout to a line of hugs and tears.
After the game, Mariano Rivera said the moment Jeter and Petite came to the mound, was the first time his retirement hit him.
It was as emotional scene as you can get in sports, and one well deserved. Mariano is the greatest closer to ever play the game, and the last player to ever wear the number 42.
Here is the emotional farewell video:
Now Mariano Rivera leaves the game with a legacy that will be hard to match. He played 19 seasons, all with the the New York Yankees. Over that span he won the World Series five times and recorded more saves than anyone in the history of the sport.
Thank you for the memories Mariano Rivera. Enjoy your retirement. You definitely earned it.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]