There are moments in sports that can leave you breathless. There are moments in sports that can leave you in awe. Unfortunately, these moments only last for a short time but there are very few moments in sports that will stay with you forever. Yankee Stadium had one of those moments tonight. It was a meaningless game in New York and somehow it felt like an early November game.
From the moment Mariano Rivera began warming up in the bullpen, the sold out crowd in the Bronx was electric. Mariano entered the game in the middle of the eighth inning, reminding me of all the times in October when the great one saved the game with a 5 out save.
The chants of “Mariano, Mariano” were non stop for the next 10 minutes. With 2 outs in the ninth fellow Core Four members, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitee, came to the mound to give their teammate the send off he deserved. In a truly moving moment Mariano’s smiles turned to tears as he hugged his two teammates. Watching him walk off the mound for the last time was all of the moments in sports we dream about put together. There was part of my childhood walking off the mound. It brought back all the moments of Mariano over the years; closing out his first World Series, losing the 2001 WS, running to the mound and collapsing after a historic game 7 versus the Red Sox. All of these moments were walking off the field.
Marino spent all year thanking the fans for watching and supporting him throughout the years. Mariano, you are not the one that should be doing the thanking. We should be thanking you. In a time where baseball has been marred by steroids and scandal, you have been a true hero to everyone on and off the field. Tonight was a moment in sports that will never be forgotten.
Thank you Mariano Rivera!