Mariano Rivera is considered to be the greatest closer in the history of baseball and on Sunday he is having his final game at Yankee Stadium and the New York Yankees are sending him off in glorious fashion, presenting him with a number of gifts and honoring him with a grand pregame ceremony that featured former teammates as well as the family of Jackie Robinson.
Rivera is the all-time saves leader and is considered to be one of the greatest players in Yankees history and that obviously includes some big names, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle and now he has been honored with his number in the stadium and a plaque with an inscription. The Giants continued the actions of other teams in the league of giving gifts to Rivera and both teams presented him with gifts during the pregame ceremony that pushed the start of the game back a bit into the afternoon.
The ceremony included Michael Kay and John Sterling handling the emceeing duties and had former teammates Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez involved as well as former manager Joe Torre and also current teammates Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter. Rivera's family was on the field and he also gave a speech to the stadium and thanked his fans and his teammates as well as his family for supporting him over the years. Whether or not Rivera gets to pitch remains to be seen, but it is likely that he will appear in the game since it will be his final chance at home in the Bronx.
The Yankees ceremony also included a special live performance from the band Metallica, as Rivera took their song "Enter Sandman" as his entrance music and the two things have been tied together as Rivera's stature has grown. The band was playing in New York and made the appearance at the Stadium, playing the song from the outfield while Rivera jogged out of the bullpen and towards the podium by home plate. Afterwards the band congratulated him in person and presented him with a gift as well and Rivera was very emotional during the entire ceremony and now he gets the chance to end his Yankees career at Yankee Stadium.
River may get the chance to pitch if the Yankees can stay in the game against the Giants, as the score at this point is 1-1 in the seventh inning and depending on how the rest of it plays out, he could get himself into the game. Rivera is one of the greatest players in Yankees history and after winning five titles with the team, many of his teammates said that never would have had happened had Rovera not been on the team.