Having already honored Rivera with a pregame ceremony on Saturday, the Angels actually devoted yesterday’s fan giveaway to the Yankees closer. Fans were given a card full of stats and information about Rivera’s career. On the right is a cell phone picture of the card.
So why would the Angels give their fans a Mariano Rivera souvenir? Two reason, as the front of the giveaway explains…
1. Rivera made his big league debut at Anaheim Stadium on May 23, 1995.
2. Rivera’s first save was against the California Angels on May 17, 1996 (in a game started by Andy Pettitte).
The back of the giveaway has a lot of the stuff you’d expect from a baseball card. Rivera’s birthday, height, weight, hometown, saves in each season, the top three career saves leaders, and a few facts: 12-time all-star, current MLB saves leader, five-time world champion, 1999 World Series MVP and 2003 ALCS MVP.
Asked whether he thought about the fact his career started in Anaheim, Rivera spoke like a man who has something other than his personal history on his mind.
“Well, I mean, I don’t know,” Rivera said. “That’s part of the game. We didn’t plan it like that, it just happened like that. Again, I’m glad that we just won.”