Mariano Rivera made his final regular season trip to Fenway Park this past weekend, and on Sunday, the Red Sox honored their longtime rival with a pre-game ceremony. They had their fun at first, with a video package that showed off Rivera's blown save in the 2004 ALCS that sparked the Sox' historic come-from-behind series win, but there was also plenty of reverence for a Yankee that even Sox fans will admit has earned everyone's respect.
There were some thoughtful gifts here, mostly focused on Rivera's place as the final player in the majors to wear #42. The Red Sox signed the #42 scoreboard placard that would hang on the Green Monster in left every time Rivera came in to pitch. They gave him one of the original grandstand seats -- you can probably guess which number -- installed back in 1934. They also gave him the pitching rubber from the visiting bullpen, as well as a portrait from Fenway's home opener in 2005, when Rivera graciously accepted the mock cheer from the Fenway faithful for his role in Boston's first World Series victory since 1918.
Rivera took pieces of the stadium with him, but he also left a part of himself at Fenway:
"Last to wear 42; thank you for everything" pic.twitter.com/ySK06auXFL— Productive Outs (@ProductiveOuts) September 16, 2013
Hey, thank you, Mo. You might have worn pinstripes, but you were an integral part of this rivalry, and it's going to be nothing short of strange to continue with it without you around.
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