Last night was Mariano Rivera's last game at Yankee Stadium, and what a send off it was. He came out in the 9th inning with 2 outs after being pulled from the game by Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite, according to ESPN. Mariano sobbed and leaned on Andy Pettite's shoulder while the sold out crowd of nearly 50,000 cheered for nearly 4 minutes, according to ESPN. The moment was Yankees history in action to rival Lou Gehrig's farewell speech, Babe Ruth's final appearance and many others, according to ESPN.
I loathe everything in pinstripes, but I have nothing but respect for Mariano Rivera. The guy is a future Hall of Famer, without a doubt, and he's been so clutch when it mattered. He' recorded 652 saves and 42 playoff saves, according to ESPN. Those 42 playoff saves were part of 5 World Series victories, but he'll be remembered here for the saves he blew (cough 2004 cough). He'll probably go down as the greatest closer to ever play the game despite what transpired in 2004, and it's hard to argue with the numbers. It may have been talked about to the point of exhaustion at this point, but I think it's a funny twist of fate that he had the same number of postseason saves as his jersey number.
I don't have any personal memories of watching him pitch because the only Yankee games I've been to were both Red Sox wins, but again, I have nothing but respect for the guy because he's the greatest closer ever and he's one of the classiest guys at the game. Remember when he came out and tipped his cap on 2005 Opening Day? Yep, I remember watching on TV and I thought it was a great moment. I've been a Sox fan since age 6, and Mariano has been one of the constants in pinstripes, along with Derek Jeter, and I've always said that those 2 are the only two Yankee players I respect. I loathe everything else in pinstripes, though.