When you first see the headlines that Mariano Rivera is set to receive a ‘historic achievement’ award at Fenway Park, it just gives you an odd feeling. Rivera being honored in Boston just doesn’t make any sense. But as it turns out, it’s all a coincidence. The recently retired closer is set to receive a rare and prestigious achievement award from MLB on Thursday night, but it was something that was going to happen no matter where the World Series took place. It just so happened that Rivera’s biggest rival team, the Boston Red Sox, are hosting the first two games of the Fall Classic.
So contrary to popular belief on social media, the Red Sox are not honoring Rivera in any way. But judging by the way the Boston fans treated him in his final trip to Fenway, there should be plenty of applause sent the former closer’s way. If you really break it down, he’s not even technically a member of the New York Yankees anymore. He’s now just another baseball fan.
Still, this whole thing is just a bit odd. Players don’t typically get applause from crowds that used to hate them. But we all know that Rivera is different and has proven to be an exception to the rule.
The award he’s set to receive is one that honors players for special contributions made to the game of baseball. It was last given out to Ken Griffey Jr. in 2011 and players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn and Roberto Clemente have received it in this past.