Throughout history, the Major League Baseball All-Star game often provides players and fans alike a moment or two that they will never forget.
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game delivered that moment once again.
While it was great for Pittsburgh Pirates fans to tune in early and see five Bucs introduced in the pregame ceremony. While it was also great to see the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Jason Grilli get the opportunity to compete for the National League; the 2013 version of the Mid-Summer Classic will always be remembered for one man- New York Yankees’ legend Mariano Rivera.
Entering his final All-Star game as Rivera is slated to retire at the end of the season, American League manager Jim Leyland guaranteed that Rivera would pitch on Tuesday night.
He did much more than that.
If have ever been to a game at Yankee Stadium, Rivera’s trademark entrance to Enter Sandman is enough to give you the chills, especially in October during a postseason game.
But throughout all of trips to the mound for each one of his record setting 638 saves, this final trip to the mound in his final All-Star Game will likely be the most memorable jog from the bullpen in Rivera’s legendary career.
Give Leyland credit for using him in the eighth inning so he would be guaranteed to pitch. Give the New York Mets sound man credit for cuing up Enter Sandman at the right time. And give the Mets crowd and all of the players the credit for showing the class of giving the spotlight to Rivera all by himself.
It was a classy moment all around, one I know I will never forget.
But that’s what the MLB All-Star Game does more than any other major sports All-Star Game’s. It provides unforgettable memories.
If you ask any of the five Pirates representatives, there will be one moment that they will never forget.
It was Rivera standing alone on the mound, in his city, alone at the top of his profession. It was the standing ovation from the fans, the players on the dugout steps, nearly causing Rivera to break down in tears.
Rivera is the greatest of all time and he was treated as such.
On this night in New York, he was the star of stars.