Mariano Rivera is on his farewell tour this season, he will retire this winter. That prompted a heart warming ovation and tribute from the All-Star game crowd at Citi Field in Queens, New York.
And the ovations and cheers are continuing this season, even in some of the most unlikely places.
When New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera trotted out of the bullpen at Fenway Park, home to their rival the Boston Red Sox, the fans cheered.
“I don’t want to be rude, but I didn’t pay attention,” Rivera said of the ovation. “It has always been hard ballgames here. I respect the organization. I respect the fans. That’s why I give it back. I play the game the way it should be played.”
Others noticed, including the Yankees’ manager.
“I think it is the class of the fans here,” Joe Girardi said. “Even though there has been a lot of history between Mo and the Red Sox. A lot of times, he has been in games that are extremely important. I think they understand what Mo has done and what he has meant to the game.”
Rivera said he has always loved to pitch here and the reaction from the Boston fans didn’t surprise him.
“It is kind of like an appreciation,” Rivera, 43, said. “It is great that they do that, that they acknowledge you and that you have been there for so many years.”
“It is huge,” Chris Stewart said. “It just shows the respect that not just baseball fans, not just Boston fans, people in general have for Mo. They know what he has accomplished throughout his career. He has been their rival for quite awhile. For them to go out of their way to salute him and tip their caps and say, ‘We respect what you have done,’ it is huge.”
Well played Boston fans, that was a classy move.