10 years on: Mariano Rivera’s nostalgia for his last game with Yankees

Former Yankee Mariano Rivera

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Mariano Rivera, the legendary New York Yankees closer, took to LinkedIn to share his thoughts on the 10th anniversary of his final game in pinstripes. Rivera, known for his remarkable career, expressed his enduring gratitude for his playing days.

“Crazy it’s already been 10 years since my last time out there. Will forever cherish my playing days!..Es una locura que ya hayan pasado 10 años desde la última vez que estuve allí. Siempre apreciaré mis días como jugador!” Rivera said on his LinkedIn post.

On linkedin, Mariano Rivera Reflects on the Anniversary of His Last Yankees Game

An iconic journey

During his illustrious 19-year career, Mariano Rivera achieved feats that most could only dream of. As the right-handed closer, he etched his name in baseball history by saving more games than anyone else, securing five World Series championships, and earning the respect of players, fans, and professionals across the baseball world.

One of the most iconic moments in Mariano Rivera’s career occurred at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Stepping onto the field in the eighth inning, Rivera was greeted by a sea of adoring fans and fellow players from both teams, a tribute to his unparalleled success and influence in the sport.

On September 26, Mariano Rivera arrived at Yankee Stadium, fully aware that he would be pitching in the iconic pinstripes for the last time. While the Yankees had already been eliminated from the Wild Card race the previous night, over 48,000 fans flocked to the Stadium, hoping to witness one last performance from the future Hall of Famer.

Mariano Rivera did not disappoint. He swiftly recorded two outs in the eighth inning before heading back to the clubhouse, where he was hit by a wave of emotion. Sitting in the training room, memories of his journey from Panama to the pinnacle of baseball flashed before his eyes.

A farewell to remember

Then, with one out remaining in the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi made a move that would forever be etched in baseball history. Instead of Girardi emerging from the dugout to make the pitching change, it was two of Rivera’s closest friends and teammates, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, who walked to the mound to take the ball from him.

Despite initial reservations, Jeter and Pettitte’s presence on the mound turned out to be a poignant and unforgettable moment. As Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling described it, “Not a dry eye in the house,” including Rivera’s.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Rivera embraced Pettitte and broke down in tears as the magnitude of the moment sunk in. He described it as the pinnacle of his career, a moment he could never have scripted any better.

Reflecting on that special moment, Rivera said, “That moment was the icing on the cake. That moment was the moment in my career as a baseball player. Having my two brothers standing with me on the mound and closing my career, was special. That was special. Even if I couldn’t write it, it could never be that good, the way it happened.”

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