Red Sox give rival pitcher retirement send-off
The Boston team held a pre-match ceremony for the departing Mariano Rivera
The Boston Red Sox gave Mariano Rivera a pre-match ceremony to mark his retirement - despite him being a pitcher for their fiercest rivals, the New York Yankees.
In a classy showing of sportsmanship, the Red Sox honoured the departing Yankees pitcher before the two sides faced-off at Fenway Park on Saturday.
Rivera, a 13-time All Star and five time World Series Champion, will retire at the end of the season and he received gifts including an original seat from the ballpark, a pitching rubber from the ballpen and a painting of himself as the crowd stood to applaud a true legend of the game.
A string quartet performed his famous entrance music - Metallica's Enter Sandman - before a video montage was shown on the giant screens inside the stadium of the famous blown save of 2004 which helped the Red Sox to their first World Series for 86 years.
The entire Red Sox team then gathered on the field to shake his hand, with John W Henry, who also owns Liverpool Football Club, reading a statement over the tannoy which said: "We tip our cap to the great Rivera, a fierce competitor and a gentleman."
It was a truly special moment as the Fenway Park crowd clapped the Panamanian, showing their respect for an astonishing career that leaves Rivera as the MLB career leader in saves, with a staggering 651.
Speaking after the Yankees 9-2 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox, Rivera said: "Great ceremony. Great. Humbling.
"At the same time I definitely appreciate what the Red Sox organisation did. I will never forget that."
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