The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Looking back: Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 30, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Mariano Rivera, Ron Gardenhire, Justin Morneau

This is cheating a little bit, if only because this post ran earlier in the offseason. But I think it’s worth repeating today. Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour was the Yankees most pleasant ongoing storyline of the year. It was often overshadowed by injuries and the whole Alex Rodriguez saga, but seeing Rivera honored in each stadium along the way was a remarkable tribute to his career and impact. He was honored with a lavish Yankee Stadium ceremony, fan tributes came from all corners, and his final moment on the mound was the most memorable moment of the season. 

Mariano Rivera, Jim LeylandDetroit Tigers
April 7
Mound dirt from both Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium, presented alongside pictures of Rivera pitching in each stadium.

Colorado Rockies
May 8
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented in Rivera’s first-ever trip to Coors Field.

Kansas City Royals
May 12
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented by Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.

Mariano RiveraCleveland Indians
May 13
Gold record of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” — Rivera’s entrance music — from Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

New York Mets
May 28
New York Fire Department call box and mounted hose nozzle in a ceremony that included New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. Rivera also threw the ceremonial first pitch to former Mets closer John Franco.

Seattle Mariners
June 6
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented by former Mariner’s standout Edgar Martinez, a career .625 hitter against Rivera.

Mariano Rivera, Bob Melvin, Michael CrowleyOakland Athletics
June 13
Custom surfboard, engraved bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley and a check for $10,042 to Rivera’s foundation.

Los Angeles Angels
June 15
Six-foot painting of Rivera by noted artist Stephen Holland. The next day, fans were given certificates commemorating Rivera’s Major League debut and first big league save, each of which came against the Angels.

Minnesota Twins
July 2
The Chair of Broken Dreams, a rocking chair made from broken bats of Twins players including Joe Mauer and Kirby Puckett. The Twins also donated to Rivera’s foundation.

John Wetteland, Joe Nathan, Mariano RiveraTexas Rangers
July 25
Black cowboy hat and custom cowboy boots with Rivera’s No. 42, presented by Rangers closer Joe Nathan and former Yankees and Rangers closer John Wetteland, whom Rivera called a mentor.

Los Angeles Dodgers
July 31
Deep-sea fishing rod – Rivera’s father was a fisherman – and a donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented by a group including Dodgers partial owner Magic Johnson.

San Diego Padres
August 2
Set of beach cruiser bicycles for Rivera and his family presented by former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who had the all-time saves record before Rivera passed him.

Mariano RiveraChicago White Sox
August 6
Framed scorecard from Rivera’s first appearance against the White Sox – eight scoreless innings on July 4, 1995 – and a collage of pictures from the Yankees’ 2001 trip to Chicago, their first games after the September 11 attacks.

Tampa Bay Rays
August 23
Sand sculpture of Rivera alongside the words “Enter Sandman.” The Rays also donated $3,150 to Rivera’s foundation, $50 for each of Rivera’s career saves against the Rays.

Baltimore Orioles
September 12
Bronze sculpture of a bat being broken by a pitch, along with a plaque noting that Rivera’s “numerous baseball records are surpassed only by his humility, respect and philanthropy.” It was presented by Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, who was Rivera’s first big league manager.

David Ortiz, Mariano RiveraBoston Red Sox
September 15
Painting of Rivera at Fenway Park, a No. 42 from the stadium’s manual scoreboard, a Fenway seat with the No. 42, and the pitching rubber from the stadium’s visiting bullpen. Red Sox ownership also donated to Rivera’s foundation.

Toronto Blue Jays
September 19
A sculpture called Kiviuq’s Journey by noted Canadian artist David Ruben Piqtoukun, which depicts a fisherman hauling in an enormous fish. The Blue Jays also made a $10,000 donation to Rivera’s foundation.

San Francisco Giants
September 23
Watercolor painting from a San Francisco artist and a custom guitar that’s the same model used by Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who’s a San Francisco native. Gifts were presented during the Yankee Stadium pregame ceremony. Metallica also presented Rivera a custom touring guitar speaker cabinet.

Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Mariano RiveraNew York Yankees
September 23
Crystal replica of Rivera’s glove, framed replica of Rivera’s number and retired-number placard, baseball-bat rocking chair and a donation of $100,000 to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, all presented during a length and lavish pregame ceremony at Yankee Stadium attended by Rivera’s family, the Steinbrenner family, members of Jackie Robinson’s family and various former teammates including Jorge Posada, Paul O’Neill and Hideki Matsui.

Houston Astros
September 29
Painting by a Texas artist who depicted memorable moments throughout Rivera’s career on a canvas that includes a raised No. 42. It was presented by a group that included both Joe Torre and Roger Clemens.

Associated Press photos

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