New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has received numerous gifts from opposing teams due to his impending retirement, and the level of respect that the opposition has shown the greatest closer of all time is astounding. It's a reflection of the type of pitcher (and person) that Rivera has been over the past 19 seasons.
New Era has, perhaps, shown the most respect towards Rivera, as a new commemorative cap is expected to hit stores next week (h/t NBCSports.com) honoring his career. The cap features the same interlocking "NY" that Rivera has worn throughout his whole career, though the letters will be gold instead of white. The underside of the brim will also be gold.
On the right side of the cap, a commemorative logo of Rivera jogging onto the field shows his name and years active (1995-2013).
Darren Rovell of ESPN.com posted a photo on Twitter of a similar hat. The only difference is that the Rivera logo is much larger and takes the place of the interlocking NY.
New Era has made other commemorative caps for the Yankees in recent memory. Derek Jeter's career hit No. 3,000 was also given a special logo and cap designed just for the occasion.
DJ3K cap available from New Era already: http://bit.ly/nCXgon— River Ave. Blues (@RiverAveBlues) July 9, 2011
Rivera will finish his career as the all-time saves leader, having saved 633 career games up to this point of his career. He'll also finish as the career leader in games finished, with 921 currently under his belt.
A glorious career deserves a glorious cap, and New Era has certainly delivered. While there's no indication that this will occur, it would be the ultimate tribute to Rivera if the Yankees were to wear these in a game during the season.
They would likely have to get special clearance from the commissioner's office, but I have little reason to doubt that Bud Selig wouldn't approve of such a request.