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.
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented in Rivera’s first-ever trip to Coors Field.
Kansas City Royals
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented by Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.
New York Mets
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.
Donation to Rivera’s foundation, presented by former Mariner’s standout Edgar Martinez, a career .625 hitter against Rivera.
Los Angeles Angels
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Chicago White Sox
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
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.
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.
Boston Red Sox
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
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
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.
New York Yankees
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.
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