The Mariano Rivera retirement tour is pulling out of Detroit and heading for Cleveland. Today, Rivera was presented a plaque from Tigers manager Jim Leyland. The plaque had pictures of Rivera pitching in Comerica Park and old Tiger Stadium, along with bottles of dirt from each stadium.
“When you’re old, you’ve pitched like that,” Rivera said. “Old Tigers. New Tigers.”
This sort of thing is expected throughout the American League as Rivera makes his final stop in each city. Along the way, Rivera is planning to meet with local fans and stadium workers who have been affiliated with the game for a long time. Yesterday, Rivera said, he met with a long-time Tigers season ticket holder, a man who’s worked for the grounds crew for more than 40 years, and a local member of the military.
“Along the way, we want to do a little bit more with the people that work, the people that no one sees,” Rivera said. “Those are the people that I want to reach. The fans will be there, but these are people that you never see but they keep the place clean and do their job. Those are the ones that I want to say, thank you.”
As for all of the gifts coming his way, Rivera joked that he’s going to have to build a place to keep everything.
“I’m going to enjoy,” he said. “It’s going to be the last one, so I’m going to respect everybody that’s going to do something or try to do something. I didn’t ask for anything, but I feel, if they do something, I’m going to enjoy.”
Associated Press photo