Reliving All of the Best Mariano Rivera Retirement Gifts, Tributes of 2013
Few players are as universally respected as Rivera, and as a result a number of teams have honored him this season when he made his final go-around to their respective stadiums.
A handful of teams have made donations to his charity and paid tribute to him with scoreboard videos, but here is a look at the more memorable things he's received.
May 13: Gold "Enter Sandman" record from Cleveland Indians
It's only fitting that the team that shares a city with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would honor Rivera with a gold record of his intro song "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. He was presented with the plaque between games of a doubleheader.
May 28: Mounted call box and fire hose nozzle from New York Mets
Playing off the theme of closers being referred to as firemen, the Mets gave Rivera a mounted call box and fire hose nozzle plaque in a pregame ceremony. He then threw out the first pitch to former Mets closer John Franco.
June 13: Surfboard and wine from Oakland Athletics
The A's gave Rivera a customized surfboard and a bottle of wine during the team's trip to Oakland earlier this year, as well as making a $10,042 donation to his charity.
June 15: Oil painting from Los Angeles Angels
The Angels offered a huge oil painting that was roughly as big as Rivera himself. Owner Arte Moreno and first baseman Albert Pujols presented it to him in a pregame ceremony.
July 2: Rocking chair of broken bats from Minnesota Twins
The Twins get my vote for coolest tribute to Rivera. They had a chair made of broken bats to honor Rivera's devastating cutter and his knack for sawing off hitters. Extra points for naming it the "Rocking Chair of Broken Dreams."
July 25: Cowboy hat and boots from Texas Rangers
Sticking with the Texas theme, the Rangers, along with former teammate John Wetteland and fellow elite closer Joe Nathan, had a personalized cowboy hat and matching boots for Rivera when he made his last trip to Arlington in the summer.
July 31: Fishing rod from Los Angeles Dodgers
Perhaps playing off the cliche that retired people spend their days out on a boat fishing, the Dodgers gave Rivera a gold-plated deep-sea fishing reel. They also had a video from Jackie Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, thanking Rivera for honoring her husband as the final player to ever wear No. 42.
Aug. 2: Beach cruisers from San Diego Padres
The Padres had their own legendary closer call it a career just a few years ago, and Trevor Hoffman was on hand when the team presented Rivera with five beach cruisers, one for each member of his family.
Aug. 6: Scorecard from first game from Chicago White Sox
The White Sox went the sentimental route with their tribute to Rivera, giving him a framed scorecard from his first game against the team (a dominant start in which he allowed just two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings) and a plaque commemorating the first game back after 9/11 when the two teams met up and Rivera recorded a save.
Aug. 23: Sand sculpture from Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays went way outside the box with their tribute, giving Rivera a sand sculpture of himself inscribed with "Enter Sandman" and with him surrounded by the New York skyline. It's a bit creepy looking in my opinion, but a nice gesture nonetheless.
Sept. 12: Bronzed broken bat from Baltimore Orioles
It's not quite a broken-bat rocking chair, but the bronzed broken bat the Orioles and manager Buck Showalter gave Rivera was pretty cool in its own right. Showalter was the Yankees manager when Rivera first broke into the league back in 1995.
Sept. 15: No. 42 from the manual scoreboard from Boston Red Sox
With Rivera retiring, the Red Sox will no longer have a need for the No. 42 sign on their manual scoreboard, so they gave it to Rivera when the two teams met up last week. They also gave him an oil painting, the bullpen rubber and a 1934 blue seat from the park with his No. 42 on it.
Sept. 22: Metallica and several former teammates honor Rivera at Yankee Stadium
After Metallica performed "Enter Sandman" live, Rivera was given the amp they used as a tribute. That was just the start of the Yankees honoring of Rivera, though. A number of former teammates were on hand, and the team officially retired his numbers and added him to Monument Park.
The opposing Giants gave him a guitar signed by Willie Mays, owner Hal Steinbrenner gave him a crystal baseball glove and ball as well as a $100,000 check for his charity, the team gave him a rocking chair made of baseball bats, and it was all capped off by Rivera throwing a scoreless inning to close out the game.
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