ESPN put it best on Twitter:
Mariano Rivera: The man who transcends rivalry. #NYYvsBOS— ESPN (@espn) September 16, 2013
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.
Portrait, check for his foundation & pieces of Fenway for Mo: His #42 from Monster scoreboard, seat from 1934 & rubber from bullpen. #Classy— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 16, 2013
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 getting a standing ovation from Fenway fans. Didn't hear one boo.— Erik Boland (@eboland11) September 16, 2013
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):
This what Rivera wrote in the bullpen. pic.twitter.com/dgQzS02bM6— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 16, 2013
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.