Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/22/13
Mariano Rivera has been honored at ballparks all over the country during his final season, but on Sunday afternoon it was the Yankees turn to pay tribute to their own on their last regular-season day game at home. Before New York took on the Giants, the Yankees held a 50-minute ceremony to honor the greatest closer of all time. Metallica was on hand to play “Enter Sandman,” — Rivera’s entrance song — former teammates made appearances and Rivera’s No. 42 was retired during the pregame ceremony. In addition, the Yankees hung Rivera’s jersey in the stadium’s Monument Park, making him the first active Yankee to have his number retired. Rivera marks the last person in Major League Baseball to wear No. 42 as the number was retired league-wide in 1997. Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of the late Jackie Robinson also attended the ceremony, and the Yankees unveiled a bronze plaque dedicated to Jackie. Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Joe Torre, among others, were introduced on the field as the Yankees showed a five-minute tribute video that featured Derek Jeter, Posada and Andy Pettitte, who was making his last start at home after announcing on Friday that he would be retiring at the end of the season. The Yankees then presented Rivera with an assortment of gifts. Mo received a rocking chair partially made out of bats, a $100,000 donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation, a framed replica of his jersey and a Waterford crystal replica of his game glove. The Giants also took part in the ceremony, and San Francisco gave Rivera a Metallica guitar that was autographed by Willie Mays. Rivera concluded the ceremony by taking the microphone and thanking the city of New York and the Yankees for making his 19-year career so special. “The New York Yankees are a great organization and you fans are the best,” Rivera said as he wrapped up his speech. “So let’s play ball. We’ve got to go. I love you guys. Thank you very much.” Check out photos from the pregame ceremony below. Photo via Twitter/@Yankees  Photo via Twitter/@YESNetwork Photo via Twitter/@mattpep15 Photo via Twitter/@Harpers1Niter Photo via Twitter@Yankees Photo via Twitter/@Yankees Filed under: Anna Fogel, Headlines, MLB, New York Yankees

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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