It’s been a rough few days in the Bronx.
Just days after being eliminated from postseason contention, fans had to say goodbye to quite possibly the greatest closer in the history of Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees and fans were given a chance to honor Rivera during their series against the San Francisco Giants this past weekend, but tonight was the final time Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman‘ would blare through the Yankee Stadium speakers and #42 would slowly walk out from behind the center field gate.
Rivera, who entered in the eighth inning tossed 1.1 innings of hitless and scoreless ball before manager Joe Girardi sent out longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte to remove him from the game, one final time.
Rivera, completely shocked when he saw the smiling Jeter and Pettitte coming out for the pitching change became overwhelmed in emotion, laying his head on Pettitte’s shoulder for a good twenty seconds, crying before he moved over and hugged Jeter.
Just an amazing moment, all around.
Rivera watched the remaining few outs from the dugout before collecting his thoughts, sitting alone on the Yankees’ bench before going out for one final curtain call, walking to the mound, spiking up the dirt before collecting a handful of it, walking off, waiving to the crowd for one final goodbye.