Mariano Rivera was playing in his final All-Star game of an incredible Hall of Fame career. While the game wasn’t held in Yankee Stadium, the game was held in New York.
Major League Baseball made it a special moment for the iconic pitcher. As he was warming up in the bullpen his familiar intro music, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” came over the PA system. He walked through the door and onto the field.
But no one was there on the field, just Rivera.
“I didn’t know how to act,” Rivera said. “At that moment, I didn’t know what to do.”
As he approached the mound none of his AL teammates came onto the field to warm up, NL batters didn’t take practice swings. Everyone simply clapped while staying put. Giving Mariano Rivera personal moment atop the pitchers mound as he watched Citi Field applaud him while giving him a standing ovation.
The sellout crowd of 45,186 at Citi Field stayed on their feet for a nearly two-minute standing ovation.
It looks like Rivera is fighting back his emotions as he takes of his cap and waves to the crowd acknowledging their gesture.
“It almost made me cry,” Rivera said. “It was close. It was amazing. I will never forget that.”
Rivera rewarded their faith with a dominant outing. He went 1-2-3 in the inning and retired the side. Rivera has a career 0.00 ERA in the All-Star Game.
Mariano Rivera won the All-Star Game MVP Award, the first pitcher to win since Pedro Martinez in 1999.
“Amazing,” Rivera said when asked to describe the night.
Rivera addressed what was described as an emotional AL clubehouse before the game.
“I told them, I was honored,” Rivera said. “It was a privilege for me to play with all of them. For so many years, this is my 13th year as an All-Star. For many of them, it was their first one. I told them to make sure they enjoy it because it goes by quick.”