Mariano Rivera Walks Off A Hero
I’m shocked at the news that Mariano Rivera’s career is likely done, but also glad I got one last chance to see him pitch. I was at the game this past Monday night, a game that will likely go down as the last one Rivera ever plays in.
Rivera is the type of player that even a lifelong Mets fan, like myself, can appreciate, and even root for. He is classy, carries little ego and is about as good a ballplayer as the game has ever seen.
On Monday, my friends and I got to Yankee Stadium in time for the first pitch, but decided to grab a few beers at a local bar before heading into the stadium. By the time we took our seats, it was 2-1 Yankees, and so the score remained until the final out.
You would think that missing all the scoring in a ballgame could be considered a disappointment, but it was anything but. Rivera was the real attraction, everything else (yes, even Derek Jeter) was just extra.
In assessing the aftermath of the Rivera injury, New York Times Columnist Tyler Kepner keenly observed the poetic significance of the spot where Rivera took his fall. Kepner writes:
If this is really it, and that sickening fall at the Kansas City warning track is the final image of Rivera in uniform, take a close look at the words on the billboard he tumbles into. It is a Budweiser ad, but for some reason the tagline says, “Walk Off a Hero.”
Just for the record, Rivera faced three batters on Monday and successfully saved the game in eight pitches.
"Walk Off a Hero." Yeah, that about says it all.