It’s an unexpected and touching tribute for the man called “the best closer in Major League Baseball history”…
Mariano Rivera, the 43-year-old Panamanian New York Yankees pitcher, was honored this week by his team’s crosstown rivals.
The New York Mets honored him at Citi Field by having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch before their game against the Yankees. Before that, the Mets played a video tribute to Rivera which closed with the words, “Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career.”
Baseball may not see another player like Rivera in a long time… That’s why the Mets and other teams in the league are honoring him in various ways this season.
Rivera announced in spring training that this season would be his last.
“It has been great, everywhere I’ve been this year. And tonight everything was great — until the ninth,” said Rivera, who blew a save during the game.
David Wright and Lucas Duda hit RBI singles off Rivera in the ninth inning, and the Mets rallied past the Yankees 2-1 to beat baseball’s all-time saves leader only hours after honoring him.
It was the first blown save of his farewell season after he had converted 18 straight chances.
“Hopefully, it’s the last one,” said Rivera, who holds the MLB record for career saves at 626.
Rivera is a 12-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion.