Rivera overcome with emotion in Yankees farewell

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:35am EDT
 
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The emotion finally got to Mariano Rivera on Thursday.

After playing it super-cool during his 19 years in Major League Baseball, his final game at Yankee Stadium proved too much.

Baseball's greatest closer was reduced to tears, sobbing uncontrollably on the mound as the enormity of the occasion hit him. And he was not alone.

His team mates and the Yankees manager Joe Girardi were also overcome with raw emotion, as they embraced him on the field then in the dugout.

In the stands, which were packed as the Yankees faithful came out to bid farewell to one of their greatest champions, more tears flowed.

The crowd rose to their feet, chanting Rivera's nickname "Mo" as more than tens of thousands of camera flashes lit up the Bronx.

"It definitely was a magic moment," said Rivera, who rose from poverty in his native Panama to be one of the most revered players in America's favorite pasttime.

When the game was over, the 43-year-old returned to the pitcher's mound for one last time, scooping up a handful of dirt which he put in his pocket as the memories of his spectacular career came flooding back.   Continued...

 
New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera blows a kiss to the crowd as they applaud him as he leaves the game with the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine