I’m not sure this day has an official name, but it’s clearly Mariano Rivera Day at Yankee Stadium. The team hasn’t announced any details of today’s ceremony except to say that things begin around 12:30 p.m. and Monument Park will be closed. Yesterday, the grounds crew got busy setting up the field almost immediately after the stadium cleared. And, of course, there’s the expectation of a Metallica appearance.
As if the day needed any more drama, Andy Pettitte is starting just two days after announcing that he too will retire at the end of this season. It could very easily be his final Yankee Stadium appearance.
“It’s the end of us, yes, us being together,” Rivera said. “It happens. You should know that this is not forever. The time will come, and that time has arrived. You have to embrace it and move on.”
If you’re interested, we at LoHud are want to hear about your favorite Rivera memories. Call 914-696-8561 and leave a brief voicemail message recalling your favorite Mo moment, the way he inspired you or what you’ll miss most about him. Don’t forget to speak clearly and include your name, hometown and a phone number where we can reach you. We’ll include them in the paper or online as part of our “42 Farewells” story next Thursday. If you collect Rivera memorabilia, send a photo of you with your collection to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’ve kind of had an inkling it was coming, which is probably helpful in a situation like this,” Joe Girardi said. “These are two tremendous Yankees that have meant so much to this organization. Unfortunately, this game comes to an end for all of us, and it’s hard. It’s hard to see guys go, but I’ve always talked about the reality really doesn’t set in until you don’t see them in uniform. I think (this afternoon) will be extremely special for both of them, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Associated Press photo