Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - In familiar fashion, Mariano Rivera left the
bullpen area and jogged onto the field to "Enter Sandman" by Metallica.
What happened next for the future Hall of Famer was a scene that will be
replayed in his mind for years to come, and also for those who witnessed
another crowning moment for the Yankees closer - this time as All-Star MVP.
"You guys are the best. Thank you New York. It's been a privilege. You guys
almost made me cry," Rivera said during an on-field ceremony Tuesday night at
Citi Field following the American League's 3-0 win over the National League.
It's the third MVP award of Mo's career, adding to the 1999 World Series MVP
and the 2003 ALCS honor. He's also the first reliever to win the outright MVP
honor at the contest.
After arriving to the mound to start the bottom of the eighth inning of his
final All-Star Game, the 43-year-old tipped his cap to the capacity crowd as
he received an extended standing ovation and his team holding a three-run
Players in both dugouts stood and applauded the all-time saves leader, as he
took the field alone to begin his warm-up pitches. The entire AL team climbed
over the top rail of the dugout for a standing ovation.
Only 16 pitches later, Rivera was out of the eighth inning in 1-2-3 fashion as
he retired Jean Segura, pinch-hitter Allen Craig and then Carlos Gomez.
Rivera, who previously disclosed this will be his 19th and final season in the
majors, all with the Yankees, exited off the field and left it up to Joe
Nathan of the Texas Rangers to close out the game. The NL was limited to three
The night, though, belonged to Rivera, who will finish his career being named
to 13 All-Star teams. That's the second-most all-time behind Hall of Famer
Warren Spahn, who was named to 17 Midsummer Classics.
"You have been not only the greatest relief pitcher, but you have been so
remarkable off the field," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said.
As part of winning the MVP, Rivera will have a field made over, in his name,
in a city in the U.S. He also received the keys to a 2014 Chevy Corvette
Rivera joined Derek Jeter (2000) as the only Yankees to win an All-Star Game
MVP. Rivera is also the first pitcher to win the All-Star MVP since Pedro
Martinez in 1999 when he pitched for the Red Sox.
The Sports Network