For the final time in the regular season, and what could be the last time ever, New York Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera visited Fenway Park Sunday night.
Rivera, who has worn pinstripes for 18 years, is retiring at the end of the season. Rivera has the MLB career saves record with 651 regular season saves.
Throughout the season, Rivera has been on a farewell tour, and tonight, the Red Sox had their chance to honor him.
Before the game, the Red Sox held an on-field ceremony, and presented gifts to Rivera to commemorate his time facing the Red Sox.
“I love to come here,” Rivera said. “It’s great games. And with that you have to bring your A game to play here.”
Despite playing for the Red Sox’s most hated rival, the team has gained a respect for the closer over the years.
“He’s a role model, and I mean that in the greatest sense that I can say it,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Everyone should look up to him, the way he lives his life.”
Rivera has had countless moments in Fenway Park and he reflected on those moments prior to the game.
“Hopefully it’s not the last time,” Rivera said. “It’s a blessing to be here and play here for so many years. When you come here to play against the Red Sox in Fenway, it is just always great games. They are never easy. Some big moments, some big games. Every game means something.”