This season, it's been fun and heart warming to watch the "Mariano Rivera farewell tour." Ball clubs are making it a point to remind Mo that he is a a baseball icon and a legend, and greatly respected, by giving him extremely creative, and interesting gifts. BYB wrote about the gift that the Rays bestowed on him HERE for instance. I started thinking about all the generous gifts he has received, and picking my favorites among the bunch.
All of the gifts have some sort of meaning, and these teams have all been kind to Mo. Honestly, Mo was probably a thorn in the side of many of these teams. It can't be fun knowing that you will face a closer like Mariano Rivera. I would probably get butterflies in my stomach if I had to hit against him. So each gift has been amazing in their own right, and I'm sure our humble Mo appreciates them all.
Anyway, without further adieu, here are my favorite gifts so far, in no particular order...
The Fishing Rod for the Fisherman's son:
One of the gifts that made me tear up was the fishing rod the Dodgers presented Mo with. It shows that they paid attention and that they respect his humble beginnings, and want to honor that. Remembering where you came from is important. It's part of the story of who you are, and what made you that person. The fishing rod, to me, was incredibly monumental, and a deep show of respect.
The Mariano Rivera Foundation's mission is to help children in impoverished communities. Mo played baseball in Panama using milk cartons as gloves, and rocks as baseballs. So they fact that he and his wife, Clara, want to give back is no surprise. So this one is great. The Rockies have donated to his foundation and that makes me smile. And that sand sculpture of Mo that the Rays gave him?
That was only part of the gift. While the sand sculpture will be on display during the series, the real gift was the donation they made to his foundation too! I should also note that there are a few other teams that have donated as well. Kudos to all teams that donated. It is by far one of the most beautiful gestures from one human being to another.
Flying High over NYC:
Let's just talk for a moment about how cool this thing is... Delta, the official airline of the New York Yankees, were not going to be left behind. They wanted to let Mo know how well respected, and liked he was. So what did they do? They put his name on a 757! Like, seriously Delta? Way to set the bar! Geesh!
The Gift That Rocked:
The Golden Ticket:
So most people have to sing at least a note or two before they get a gold record. Mo? Nope! Mo just comes out in the 9th inning, to Metallica blaring through the speakers, and BOOM! The Indians make it happen.
The gold record of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" is plain awesome! The song has changed because of Mo. Granted, it is an excellent song in it's own right, but because Mo has used it as is entrance, it has taken on new meaning. Mo IS the sandman! He has put teams to sleep. Major props to the Indians for this.
Hey, it makes me glad to see that teams around the league have as much respect for Mo, as Yankee fans do. It just shows what kind of ball player he is. He is a living legend. The kind of guy that you look at your grandchildren years from now, and express your deep hero envy. So from this Yankee fan, to each team, and fans of other teams, thank you for loving Mo. Now you see what we've appreciated all these years... he's our guy, now and forever.
--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer