Mariano Rivera retirement ceremony with Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

He didn't get to pitch, but last night still belonged to Mariano Rivera

9/16/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

Sep 15, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; A fan holds a sign in honor of New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (not pictured) prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsThanks to a horrible outing from Ivan Nova, there was really never any reason for Joe Girardi to even consider sending Mariano Rivera out to the mound against the Red Sox. Still, Mo was the man of the hour in his last regular season visit to Fenway Park, the place of not only many of his most impressive performances, but also some crushing defeats.

In one of the most bizarre and surreal moments I'll ever see, the Boston Red Sox took some time before the game to honor a man who has been one of their biggest rivals for almost two decades.

For anyone else, it would seem like a travesty to pay such an elaborate tribute to an opposing player. But for a great player and great man like Mariano Rivera, it seems like anything less just wouldn't be fitting.

The Red Sox gave him several gifts, including a painting of him at Fenway being introduced at Fenway in 2005, the year after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, thanks in part to Rivera's blown save in game 4 of the ALCS. They also gave him a number 42 placard from the Fenway Park scoreboard, where he's the last player ever to wear that number.

Sep 15, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) receives a check for his charitable foundation from the Boston Red Sox ownership prior to the start of the game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsThe next gift was an authentic Fenway Park seat from 1934, also bearing the number 42. After that, Red Sox closer Koji Uehara presented him with the pitching rubber from the visitor's bullpen at Fenway Park.

Last but not least, the Sox presented him with a donation from the Red Sox Foundation to go towards Rivera's school and church that he funds in Panama.

I can't imagine the Red Sox (or any other team) ever doing this for anyone else. There's really no one in the game who garners the same level of respect as Mariano Rivera. Between his incredible dominance on the field to his amazing demeanor off the field, Rivera has been the player and person that everyone else wishes they could be.

Congratulations to Mariano Rivera, one of the greatest players of our era, and without doubt the greatest closer the game of baseball has ever seen.

Check out the entire ceremony here:

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9/27/13   |   joseisa_quintero

That was Mariano´s Night, He is the Best and still the Best Close Pitcher of the History and from Panama