As part of his farewell tour, Mariano Rivera has been meeting team employees in each stadium he visits this year. On Wednesday, he delivered pizza to a longtime Oakland office services coordinator Julie Vasconcellos.
Rivera walked into Vasconcellos' office carrying a pizza box Wednesday night and brought the A's employee to tears as he thanked her for 25 years of hard work behind the scenes.
''This is my way to say thank you, thank you for what you do,'' Rivera told Vasconcellos, who declined to give her age other than ''old.'' ''Twenty-five years, Julie, that's great! You're special, Julie, that's what it is. People here love you.''
Rivera signed a ball for Vasconcellos, gave her several hugs and posed for photos - then he stuck around to chat for another 10 minutes or so.
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''Oh, my heart's going to town, oh my God,'' said Vasconcellos, who had to sit down at one point. ''I'm shaking. ... Oh, this is too funny, thank you.''
Rivera asked if she was OK, to which she responded, ''I'm just shocked. I'm never going to forget your face again.''
He got a good laugh out of that.
The 43-year-old Rivera's gesture was just another simple way of saying thank you during his farewell tour before he heads into retirement after his 19th major league season.
A visit from the all-time saves leader and a free pizza to boot. You can't beat that.
If he starts delivering meatball heros, they'll be calling him Sand-wich-man.