Found July 02, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS -- Over the last 17 years, Mariano Rivera has been a thorn in the Minnesota Twins' side. A lot of teams can relate when it comes to facing the New York Yankees' future Hall of Fame closer. Rivera owns Major League Baseball's record for the most saves of all time with 634 and has at least one save against every team but the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yet, for as dominant as Rivera has been over the years, opposing teams can't help but show him a tremendous amount of respect. "He's been a tremendous closer," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. "But it's not going to break my heart to see him go off into the sunset." Before Tuesday's game, Rivera took time to meet privately with a group of 14 long-time Twins employees and season ticket holders. He's done similar things along the way at each park he visits for the last time prior to his retirement at the end of the 2013 season. The Twins, in turn, took time to honor Rivera. They gave him a check for 10,000 for his foundation, and also presented him with a unique gift: a rocking chair made out of broken baseball bats. The chair was Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's idea, and he named it the "chair of broken dreams." Rivera has certainly broken many of the Twins' dreams over the years. Still, for as tough as he's been against Minnesota, Gardenhire and the Twins can't help but show their respect for Rivera. "He's kind of done it all the right way," Gardenhire said. "When you talk about respect of the game, he'll be right up there at the top. He's a player you respect. The way he's gone about it, a classy individual. He's done a lot of good work off the field, raised a lot of money for his home back where he grew up at and here in the United States. A class act." Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer has enjoyed modest success against Rivera over the years -- compared to his Twins teammates, at least. He is 4-for-13 with an RBI off Rivera, but has struck out twice against the Yankees closer. "I think he's one of the greatest relievers of all time -- one of the greatest pitchers of all time," Mauer said. "You know what he has. You've just got to execute, and that's a lot easier said than done. He's been doing it for a long time at a high level." Twins closer Glen Perkins remembers the first time he had the chance to meet Rivera. It came during a game in 2011 when the Yankees were at Target Field. A fence separates the home team and visitors' bullpens in center field, and Rivera approached it to chat with then-Twins closer Joe Nathan. Perkins happened to be nearby and joined in on the 15-minute conversation. As someone who already respected the way Rivera played the game, Perkins walked away from his conversation with even more respect for the Yankees closer. "You could tell that he has a passion for the game and he has a passion for passing it on," Perkins said. "Even him talking to Joe, who obviously has been around for a long time, he talked to him like a student, too. And Joe listened like a student. I was kind of just there on the periphery in awe, really. But that's stuff that you don't get a chance to do very often and stuff that's just kind of impromptu that happens. It was a pretty neat time." Perkins has also enjoyed the way that Rivera doesn't celebrate after a strikeout or a save. Instead, he acts like he's been there before -- which he has more than any pitcher in history. That approach is something Perkins emulates on the mound for the Twins. For Rivera, it's yet another sign of his respect for the game and for his opponents. "I was taught that you have to respect, no matter who it is, small or big," Rivera said. "My father put that in me. When I came to the organization, that's all I learned. You're here to win championships and you respect the game, you respect others. I learned that whatever happens, good or bad, you always be thankful and respect. To tell you the truth, I'm getting the same respect back." Rivera has enjoyed a lengthy Hall of Fame career thanks primarily to one pitch. But even though opposing hitters know Rivera is going to throw them a cutter, they still can't hit it. That includes the Twins. Including Monday's 10-4 win in which Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth, he has now faced Minnesota 54 times in his career. Twins batters have hit just .178 against him, and he owns a 1.28 ERA against Minnesota. A few of his 33 saves versus the Twins came in the postseason, including two in the American League Divisional Series in 2003 and two in 2010 at Target Field. "Unfortunately, I've been here quite a few times since he's broke in. I've seen him break a lot of bats of ours, but I haven't seen us do much damage," Ryan said. "I think there's a bunch of people that are in the same boat as the Twins, but it just seems like he did it to us more than most -- because I think he did. God bless that guy." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter

Twins give Rivera chair of broken bats

Give the Minnesota Twins credit for being creative. New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is on his farewell tour around Major League Baseball and the Twins just gave him the best gift so far. Before the teams matched up on Tuesday night, the Twins presented Rivera with a rocking chair made out of broken bats caused by Rivera’s pitches. The above picture shows the gift, dubbed...

Twins give Mariano Rivera outstanding retirement gift

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will have made just shy of $170 million over his 19-year career when he hangs his spikes after this season.  As the season hits the turning point, he will be visiting parks for the last time in his career.  On Tuesday, the Twins presented Rivera with an incredibly thoughtful parting gift as he will not visit Target Field again. Rivera’s $170 million...

Twins crack wise with retiring Yankee Mariano Rivera

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has made his farewell tour this season before retiring at the end of the year, he's been given gifts by many teams. The Minnesota Twins may have had the most creative one yet. Before Tuesday's game at Target Field, the Twins presented the 43-year-old Rivera with a rocking chair. It wasn't an ordinary chair, though: it...

Twins retirement gift for Mariano Rivera a rocking chair made of broken bats

Legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is continuing his farewell tour, and his latest stop was in Minnesota, where, before Tuesday night’s game at Target Field, the Twins presented Rivera with a truly exceptional, one-of-a-kind gift—a rocking chair made out of broken Twins’ bats, all of which were broken by Rivera’s famed cutter, called the “Chair of Broken Dreams”...

Mariano Rivera Gets ‘Chair of Broken Dreams’ Made of Bats He Shattered From Minnesota Twins (Photos)

Those smiles on the faces of the Minnesota Twins? Those are the smiles of ballplayers who know they’ll never have to face Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning again. While Rivera has received a lot of creative gifts from opposing teams during his farewell tour through the big leagues, the Twins had perhaps the best one Tuesday night. Minnesota presented Rivera with what it called...

Twins give Rivera chair made from broken bats

The Minnesota Twins have watched Mariano Rivera break a lot of their bats over the years. On Tuesday they presented the New York Yankees closer with a gift that captured Rivera's dominance. The Twins gave Rivera a rocking chair made in part from broken bats with the inscription, ''Chair of Broken Dreams.'' The presentation was made in a pregame ceremony honoring...

Twins present Mariano Rivera with unique chair made of broken bats as farewell gift

You might say calling this gift from the Minnesota Twins to Mariano Rivera a Chair of Broken Dreams is based on past experiences against the pitcher. Before Tuesday game at Target Field, the Twins gave the legendary New York Yankees closer a custom-made rocking-chair composed entirely of broken bats — a clever homage to Rivera’s famous cutter pitch, which has broken more...

Twins Give Mariano Rivera A Broken Bat Rocking Chair & SportsCenter Sideboob!

Game over. The broken bat rocking chair given by the Twins to Mariano Rivera last night is easily the best gift he’…

Mariano Rivera Gets Awesome Gift From Minnesota Twins

No one would have blamed New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera if he had retired last season when he went down with a season ending knee injury. He is a World Series winner several times over. He has certainly been paid well, and he is the career leader in saves. He had nothing left to prove, and while it sucks to retire because of an injury no one would have faulted him. ...

Twins give Mariano Rivera Rocker made of Broken Bats

The whole stupid process of opposing teams giving retiring Mariano Rivera gifts continues. Last night it was the Minnesota Twins. And while the item is cool - a rocker made of broken bats - the... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Put This On: New Era Mariano Rivera Cap

Upkeep Tip your hat to this New York Yankee’s career.

Twins' Broken Dreams Continue Against The Yankees

The Yankees beat the Twins again last night, continuing their dominance over Minnesota which began after Ron Gardenhire was named manager. Unlike the previous game, there were no records set last night. They got a lead, the bullpen made it close and Mariano Rivera came in to close it out. Yankees win, theeeeeee Yankees win.Speaking of Ron Gardenhire, it was he who came up with the...

Dave Roberts Says ‘Special’ Feeling of Returning to Fenway Park Never Fades Away (Video)

It’s easy to forget that Dave Roberts played just 45 games in a Red Sox uniform. But in his brief time in Boston, Roberts etched himself in baseball lore with a play known simply as “The Steal.” That refers, of course, to Roberts’ ninth-inning steal of second base during Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. Roberts would eventually score the game-tying run with Mariano...

Full Court Press: Twins Give Mariano Rivera ‘Chair of Broken Dreams’, Papelbon Weighs-In on Puig, Tooshie Tuesday in Review

Click on photo to read more about Mariano’s Gift from the Twins Absolutely brilliant gesture by the Twins here. Probably the best gift Mariano will get during his farewell tour. Hate the Yankees all you want, but there is something to be said about a guy who’s opponents are honoring him during a farewell tour. He’s the best that ever lived. He’s an ambassador to the game...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.