For what has always been an intense and historic rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the Red Sox honored Mariano Rivera on Sunday night for his greatness, dedication, and ambassador status to the game of baseball. For an organization that has received a number of negative public relation complaints over the past few years, the Red Sox hit a grand slam in honoring the greatest closer of all-time.
Sometimes sports has the tendency of going too far and crosses over the lines of athletic competition, creating a harmful aggression amongst players, fans, and organizations rather than staying within the appropriate confines of athletics. Seemingly, we have far too many of these incidents, so when there is an opportunity to honor athletics in a positive light, it should be done.
The way that Rivera has handled himself on and off the field has always been first class, to the point of even drawing recognition from the rival.
In honoring Rivera, the Red Sox compiled two montages including a remembrance of the 2004 ALCS stolen base in fun fashion with former Red Sox’ Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar, and Dave Roberts. Additionally, Rivera received four Fenway gifts including a donation to a Panama church and school by the Red Sox foundation. Even Rivera himself seemed completely overjoyed by the recognition.
For all of the great rivalry moments between the Red Sox and Yankees, including Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, and the Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek incident, Sunday night’s gesture by the Red Sox to honor Rivera on a stellar career was simply spectacular, as there will never be another Mariano Rivera.
Here’s to you, Mariano Rivera, on a great career.