Mariano Rivera Honored by Boston Red Sox in Final Game at Fenway Park

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2013

The Boston Red Sox have forsaken their hatred of, and rivalry with, the New York Yankees in order to honor the soon-to-be retired Mariano Rivera.

ESPN put it best on Twitter:

The Red Sox had a pregame ceremony for the 43-year-old closer Sunday night at Fenway—something that has become a staple at every road ballpark Rivera has visited during his 2013 farewell tour.

It's a testament to just how legendary a player he is and how he's viewed among his peers.

The Yankees made a checklist of everything he received from the Red Sox, and Rivera may need to make some extra room in his car to take it all home.

Prior to the game, the Red Sox dropped off a poem written by Dick Flavin to the Yankees clubhouse (h/t YES Network on Instagram):

Included in the pregame festivities was a video package and a string quartet.

Rivera has long been a thorn in the side of the Red Sox and their fans. However, that didn't stop him from getting the reaction he so richly deserves in Boston. Erik Boland of Newsday tweeted:

Rivera will no doubt go down in history as the greatest closer of all time. His 651 saves are the most ever—50 ahead of Trevor Hoffman in second place. Fifty-eight of those saves have come against the Red Sox (the third-most against any other MLB team).

Rivera left one final message in the Red Sox bullpen (via ESPN's Buster Olney):

Sox fans know Mariano Rivera is always a threat, but for one night, even they are able to fully appreciate the greatness of the Yankees closer.