American League All-Stars Pay Homage to Legendary Closer Mariano Rivera
In a pose that suggests reverence, some of the game's greats, including Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Felix Hernandez, seemingly look down in wonder at the closer who has amassed more saves than anyone in the history of the game.
The 43-year-old Rivera has been pitching unlike a man ready to retire; he entered the break with a 1.83 ERA and 30 saves. He's also coming into the Midsummer Classic with an unblemished record in previous All-Star appearances, with four saves, five strikeouts and just five hits allowed in eight total innings.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig took time out of his busy schedule to comment on Rivera's final All-Star game as well.
Fans on Twitter certainly appreciated the message of the photo as well, with a number of touching notes.
We are about to witness one of the greatest moments in All-Star history tonight! that's Mariano Rivera's last ASG. Cant wait till he pitches— Christian Thrash (@C_Thrash_) July 16, 2013
Mariano Rivera's last all star game. Glad to be witnessing history. Watching a living legend tonight . #GOAT— Nicholas Acuna (@SOmisunderst00d) July 16, 2013
Another guy that you can't not like. Mariano Rivera. He's respected by everyone.— Kyle (@KyleMacconchie) July 16, 2013
And the most fitting way to honor Rivera Tuesday night is, of course, obvious.
This will be first year I root for the AL. I want Mariano Rivera to get the save and go out of his last all star game with a save— Christian Bonjean (@CBonjean12) July 16, 2013
With the National League holding home-field advantage at the Mets' Citi Field, it could easily come down to the bottom of the ninth—an all-too familiar scene for a man with 638 career saves.
One thing is for sure—New Yorkers and fans across the country will be tuning in en masse to watch in the late innings to see Mariano Rivera enter the game to his familiar tune "Enter Sandman."
It's bittersweet for fans who have had the pleasure of watching Rivera for the past 19 years, but a glorious exit nonetheless.
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