Mariano Rivera is the single greatest closer of all time. There is no argument in that. So for the final Sunday game at Yankee Stadium for Rivera and for starting pitcher Andy Pettitte (who also announced he will retire at the end of this season and got the start for Sunday’s game), New York Yankees gave the greatest closer of all time the greatest farewell ceremony that any player has ever had in the history of any sport.
Rivera received many gifts on this Sunday afternoon. He was given a crystal glove and a rocking chair from the New York Yankees, an autographed guitar from the San Francisco Giants featuring the great Hall of Famer Willie Mays‘ signature, and arguably the greatest gift of all time – Metallica.
One of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time gave thanks to the greatest closer of all time by playing their song “Enter Sandman,” which we all know by now is Rivera’s theme song when he enters into the game. Metallica did not stop there, however. After their performance, they then went to home plate and gave Rivera a speaker to go along with his new guitar.
After all of the gifts were given, Rivera then gave a heartfelt speech to the Yankee faithful in what was a glorious day for all the fans and players alike, including some retired Yankees like Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill just to name a few.
The wife of the late great Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson was also present in the festivities as Rivera will be the last player ever to don the number 42. Over the years, just between those two players, the number 42 has meant a lot to the game of baseball, and who better than Rivera to be the last player ever to wear that historic number?
In my honest opinion, Rivera’s farewell ceremony was the greatest I have seen in recent memory, and it very well deserved for the greatest closer the game has ever seen.
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