Saturday afternoon Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made his way to the mound. It was time for the Sandman to record career save number 639, number 57 against the Red Sox, and number 35 at Fenway Park.
The 37,601 Fenway Faithful noticed and rose to give MLB's all-time saves leader a standing ovation.
Red Sox fans may not love you Mo, but they do respect you.
"I think it is the class of the fans here," Yankees skipper 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."
Once fans sat down, the Sox went down 1-2-3. Rivera converted the save and the Yankees won 5-2.
Rivera said, "It is great that they do that, that they acknowledge you and that you have been there for so many years. 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."
As Rivera has done in every city during this baseball farewell tour, Mo met with people from Boston, talked, took photo's and signed baseballs. The Red Sox had gathered 14 people in a luxury suite. The guest list included some longtime Red Sox employees, youth baseball players and coaches, Jimmy Fund patients Fernando Morales and Harry Clark. Rivera also took pictures with J.P. and Paul Norden, the brothers who lost legs in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Saturday's visit was a touching one for Rivera.
“It was wonderful,’’ Rivera said. “There was a kid Fernando, who has cancer and was going to therapy and all that stuff. His story is amazing. He is not giving up. [It] was wonderful, beautiful. We had a great time.”
Red Sox fans know class when they see it and let Rivera know Saturday.
After the game the 43-year-old, 19-year baseball veteran looked around the old ballpark and said, “I appreciate this place. To me, there is no rivalry. We all love baseball.”